The International Air and Transport Association said on Monday that it expects airline companies to record combined net profits of $18 billion this year.
Revenues were forecast to reach $746 billion, IATA directer general Tony Tyler said in Doha, Qatar, pointing out that net margins stood to average 2.4 percent only.
"It sounds impressive. But the brutal economic reality is on revenues of $746 billion dollars we will earn an average net margin of just 2.4 percent," he said.
The amounted to less than $6 per passenger, he added.
IATA said in March that some 240 carriers representing 84 percent of global air traffic had revised down their profit forecast for 2014 to $18.7 billion from $19.7 billion.