Airlines Just Had Their Profit Forecasts Slashed Again Making 2011 Look Even Worse

Areoflot Russian Airlines

The International Air Transport Association has cut its 2011 industry profit forecast to $8.6 billion down from $9.1 billion.

Airline stocks including Delta, U.S. Airways and American Airlines were all down today on the news.

The revised forecast cited the surge in oil prices driven by growing Middle East turmoil as its main reason for the cut.

Airlines have been raising fuel costs as a result but analysts say these companies will not be able to sustain themselves with just rate increases if oil rises above $140.

IATA estimates that with each $1 rise in oil prices, industry costs increase by $1.6 billion. Oil is above $102 today.

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