Iata expects more passengers in 2010
Airline industry body Iata has predicted that airlines will lose $5.6bn (£3.5bn) next year - an increase from the $3.8bn it originally forecast.
Iata also reiterated that losses this year would probably total $11bn.
Chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said 2009 had been an "annus horribilis" for the sector, but added that "the worst is likely behind us".
He predicted that next year would see more passengers as well as increased air cargo volumes.
Iata said that European airlines were expected to lose the most money next year, $2.5bn between them, while North American airlines would be likely to lose a total of $2bn.
The biggest improvement is expected to come from carriers in the Asia-Pacific, while Latin American airlines are expected to be the only profitable regional group.
Separately, US carrier Delta Airlines predicted it would make a $1.1bn loss this year, but also forecast a better 2010.
Delta president Ed Bastian told an annual investor conference that there was a "real tangible evidence that a recovery is under way".
He added that the volume of tickets sold to corporate clients had risen by almost 15% over the past couple weeks.
While Iata is predicting that number of travellers will return to 2007 levels, it points out that revenues from passengers will be $30bn less than then.
The forecast for cargo demand next year has been increased as businesses start to replenish stocks. Iata now expects it to grow by 7% to 37.7 million tonnes - up from a previous prediction of a 5% increase.
Mr Bisignani added that "consolidation is the great hope for the industry".
"It has been confined with political borders... the industry cannot afford the mounting losses of the status quo. The next decade must facilitate consolidation," he said.