Airlines made record profits in 2015

American Airlines passenger planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport on June 8, 20115.
American Airlines passenger planes are seen on the tarmac at Miami International Airport on June 8, 20115.PHOTO: AFP

OTTAWA (AFP) - The world's airlines are expected to post a collective record US$60 billion (S$84.25 billion) in profits this year, according to preliminary figures released by the the UN aviation agency on Tuesday (Dec 22).

Final figures will be released in July 2016.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which represents some 1,400 commercial airlines around the world, said a 6.4 per cent increase in the number of passengers from 2014 and a 40 per cent decline in jet fuel costs contributed to the industry's profits.

There were around 3.5 billion passenger flights in 2015.

The increasing presence of low cost carriers in emerging economies also helped boost overall profits, the ICAO said.

Looking forward to 2016, the agency forecast that a further decline in oil prices and an improving global economy "should see passenger traffic and profits continue their upward trend."