PARIS - Airlines are forecast to lose $47.7 billion (39.7 billion euros) this year, worse than previously forecast, a global industry group said Wednesday as the sector struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
On a brighter note, the International Air Transport Association slightly raised its forecast for global air passenger traffic, saying it would reach 43 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
The IATA had forecast net post tax losses of $38 billion in December.
"Financial performance will be worse and more varied this year than we expected in our December forecast, because of difficulties in controlling the virus variants and slower vaccination in some regions," the association said in a report.
Airlines lost more than $126 billion last year as the Covid-19 crisis prompted countries to lock down cities, close borders and ban international flights.
North American airlines will fare better than previously thought, with losses of $5 billion instead of $11 billion, thanks to the recovery of the domestic market there, the IATA said.
But the outlook has worsened in Europe due to a slower vaccination campaign and less easing of international travel restrictions.
European airlines are now tipped to lose $22 billion, compared to $12 billion in the earlier forecast.