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€5bn profit for airlines

Airlines are likely to return €5bn in profits this year -- almost 75pc more than the figure previously predicted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

However, the organisation said that earnings would be restricted next year, with combined profits likely to fall to €3.5bn on revenues of €460bn.

IATA director general Tony Tyler said that the industry needed to retain perspective given the current environment.

Next year's projected performance was based on an assumed global economic growth rate of 2.4pc, compared with 2.5pc in 2011.