Middle East airlines will lose less money than previously forecast, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The international body believes that carriers across the region will lose some $500m in 2009, following a strong recovery in passenger traffic since April.

In June, the association predicted a worsening outlook for 2009, for Middle East airlines, with losses of about $1.5bn (MEED 8:6:09).

The improved outlook in the region contrasts with IATA’s worsening forecast for the global industry.

The industry is now predicted to lose $11bn in 2009, revised down from $9bn in June.

The association expects industry revenues for 2009 to fall by $80bn to $455bn, a fall of 15 per cent compared with 2008.

Air passenger traffic continued to recover strongly in July. It was up 13.2 per cent compared with July 2008 (MEED 28:8:09).