The International Air Transport Association (Iata) has said global airline profits are set to be healthier than initially predicted for this year. Airlines are now expected to earn $4.1bn in 2012, up by $1.1bn from the $3bn forecast in June, Iata said. Middle East carriers are expected to post a $0.7bn profit, up $0.3bn from the previous forecast. Over the first eight months of the year, the region has shown the strongest passenger traffic growth with a 17.1% increase in demand outstripping a 13.2% increase in capacity. "The region's carriers continue to expand their long-haul market share with connections through their expanding hubs. To illustrate the region's growth, the share of international passenger traffic held by its carriers has expanded from 4.8% in 2002 to 11.5% in August 2012," Iata said.