Airlines forecast profits to jump to record high

GENEVA (AP) The global airline industry is forecasting a jump in profits to $19.7 billion next year, helped by falling jet fuel prices, rising travel demand and cost-cutting.

The Geneva-based trade association for the world's airlines says the strong outlook -- well above its expected net profit of $12.9 billion in 2013 and more than 2 1/2 times last year's $7.4 billion -- would be its biggest absolute profit ever.

But the International Air Transport Association, which represents 240 airlines, or 84 percent of total air traffic, noted in a report Thursday that margins would be low. Next year's profit would come from projected revenues of $743 billion, whereas 2010's $19.2 billion in profit was made on revenues of just $579 billion.

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