IATA: World's Airlines Lost $3 Billion in Q1 of 2009

Airlines had a dismal start to 2009, and industry leaders say it's only going to get worse.

The International Air Transport Association announced today that the world's airlines lost more than $3 billion in the first quarter of this year, putting the industry lobby's June estimate for a total annual loss of $9 billion right on track.

Unsurprisingly, IATA cited the recession-spurred lack of travel demand and decreased freight volumes as the main culprits in the nosedive. The IATA report also said that the situation will worsen before it improves, as the 30 percent rise in oil and jet fuel prices since early May will further damage industry performance.

The Geneva-based IATA, which represents more than 200 airlines, predicted this past March that the world's airlines would lose $4.7 billion in 2009. Since then, its estimated loss has nearly doubled.