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IATA predicts profitability of UAE airlines will fall this year

ABU DHABI, March 14 (Reuters) - The profitability of airlines in the United Arab Emirates is expected to fall this year, the director-general of the International Air Transport Association told reporters on Tuesday.

"We expect a year that will probably be below 2016 and 2015, so not a very positive year for Middle East carriers due to the capacity and the pressure on the yield," Alexandre de Juniac said, referring to high capacity and limited demand growth.

"The UAE carriers will have a year that is probably below 2016."

Besides the two big carriers, Emirates and Etihad, UAE airlines include flydubai and Air Arabia.

(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Writing by Andrew Torchia) ((andrew.torchia@thomsonreuters.com; +9715 6681 7277; Reuters Messaging: andrew.torchia.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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