GENEVA (REUTERS) - The Ukraine crisis and economic worries in Latin America have prompted the airline industry to trim US$1 billion off its global profit forecast for 2014, the International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday.
The Geneva-based organisation now expects airlines to make a profit of US$18.7 billion (S$23.7 billion) this year, down from US$19.7 billion in its previous forecast in December, but the industry remains on an upswing after a US$12.9 billion profit in 2013.
Higher oil prices due to tensions in Crimea are expected to add US$3 billion in previously unexpected costs in 2014, partially offset by a US$2 billion upward revision in cargo revenue.
Economic weakness in Argentina and Brazil is also expected to weigh on profits.
Iata Director General Tony Tyler said he had protested to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro over the freezing of US$3.7 billion of cash owed to airlines and warned some carriers may consider halting flights to the nation because of unpaid bills.