"2013 will not be a banner year for profitability, but we should see some improvement on 2012," IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler said in a statement.
Although fuel costs remain high, airlines tightened up on spare capacity and spare seats in 2012 to protect their profits, IATA said. The year ended with markets improving, with international freight and passenger traffic 0.6 percent up from November.
Domestic freight deliveries rose 2.2 percent on the month.
For the year as a whole, global cargo demand contracted by 1.5 percent, including a 1.9 percent decline in international markets and 1.4 percent growth on domestic routes.
"A sharp slowdown in world trade growth and shifts in commodity mix favoring sea transport placed further downward pressure on air freight demand in 2012," IATA said. (Reuters)