Airlines group raises industry profit estimate

A global airline industry group says it expects carriers to generate $12.7 billion in profits this year thanks to packed planes.

The International Air Transport Association says it is revising its previous profit estimate of $10.6 billion upward by 20 percent for 2013. The new profit forecast is a 67 percent increase on the $7.6 billion major airlines earned in 2012.

IATA said in a statement Monday that if its forecast holds, the global airline industry will have its third strongest year since 2001.

It says lower oil prices, due to increasing supply, have also helped hold down costs while seat occupancy rates average a record high of 80.3 percent.

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