The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that the financial situation of airlines in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is improving, and that more coordinated efforts are needed to deal with the challenges of growth in the region. For 2010, the IATA is forecasting a bottom line improvement of $1bn on the $600m that the region’s carriers lost in 2009. “Over the last decade, the carriers of the Middle East and North African region have grown from 5 per cent of global traffic to 11 per cent. Planned aircraft purchases of $200bn over the next decade will support this growth into the foreseeable future. This expanding global presence brings with it the challenge of playing a larger role in the global aviation community,” Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO said.