Airline profits forecast to rise

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Global airlines should post an industry profit of $12.7 billion (£8.3bn) this year, an increase from a previous $10.6bn forecast, as lower oil prices and belt-tightening offset difficult economic conditions.

However, industry group the International Air Transport Association said margins remained weak amid Europe’s ongoing debt crisis.

“The day-to-day challenges of keeping revenues ahead of costs remain monumental,” IATA director general Tony Tyler said at a meeting of more than 200 airlines in Cape Town, South Africa.

Airlines are expected to transport 3.13 billion passengers in 2013.