Speed Reads

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Airlines make only $6 per passenger

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Despite the fact that global airlines are on track to produce a record-breaking combined $18 billion net profit this year, they're still expecting dismal returns. At the International Air and Transport Association meeting on Monday, director Tony Taylor told attendees in Doha that net margins average less than $6 per passenger.

The profits "sounds impressive," said Taylor, "but the brutal economic reality is on revenues of $746 billion, we will earn an average net margin of just 2.4 percent." He blames concerns mounting over China's economic growth and "political risks" worldwide in discouraging potential fliers.

Despite this, there's good news for fliers: Airfares are forecasted to drop 3.5 percent this year.