The International Air Transport Association has upgraded its forecast for the global airline industry this year — forecasting that it will earn $2.63 billion in profits.

The outlook released Monday compared with a forecast made in March that airlines would lose a total of $2.94 billion in 2010.

However, IATA said Europe is a striking weak spot and it anticipates a $2.94 billion loss for airlines on the continent — worse than the $2.31 billion previously predicted.

It cited Europe's feeble growth, strikes at some airlines, the eurozone debt crisis and the volcanic ash cloud that caused major disruption this spring.

North American carriers are expected to earn $2 billion — a turnaround from the previously predicted loss of $1.89 billion.