The losses are expected to tumble with a total of $ 2.5 billion despite falling oil prices with European airlines' deficits soaring tenfold over 2008 to $1 billion and Asia-Pacific's doubling to $1.1 billion, states a 2009 forecast.
"The outlook is bleak and the chronic industry crisis continues as we face the toughest revenue environment in 50 years," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director-General of the organisation which groups some 230 international airlines.
Not only the Airlines, but also the aircraft manufacturers like Airbus and Boeing will be affected as orders were either deferred or cancelled, says IATA's chief economist, Brian Pearce.
IATA also cut its estimate for losses this year to $5 billion from the $5.2 billion because of lower fuel costs.
JOBS AT RISK
Bisignani, speaking at IATA's Geneva headquarters, said he saw '300,000-400,000 jobs at risk' among the some 32 million people around the world employed in air transport and related industries like travel, tourism and airports.
Labour had to understand 'that jobs disappear when costs don't come down,' he declared. "Unless airlines have the flexibility to cut costs," said Pearce, "they might not be around when the recession ends."