Terminal four at JFK airport in New York City
Terminal four at JFK airport in New York City - 
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Steve Chiotakis: The world's airlines face another bleak year. That's the word today from an international industry group. The only region expected to make a profit is the United States. From the European Desk in London, Stephen Beard reports.

Stephen Beard: The International Air Transport Association says that as a whole, the industry will do better in 2009 than it did this year. No cause to crack open the champagne, however -- airlines are expected to lose $2.5 billion, rather than the $5 billion they lost this year.

The improvement is mostly due to the sharp fall in oil prices. U.S. carriers will likely do better than most. But not much cause for celebration there either, says Kieran Daley of Air Transport Intelligence:

Kieran Daley: You're really not saying much more than there's a fighting chance of roughly breaking even as an industry. You know, these are still very grim times for the airlines and it's not clear that everybody is safe yet.

Today's report says American carriers will make a total of no more than $300 million profit next year. That's having laid off thousands of workers, grounding scores of older aircraft, and scrapping many unprofitable routes.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.