Etihad Airways is next month set to post its second successive profit when it reveals its financial results for last year.
The Abu Dhabi carrier’s president and chief executive, James Hogan, made the announcement during his keynote speech to the Global Airfinance Conference in Dublin yesterday.
“Etihad Airways has achieved double-digit passenger and revenue growth in recent years and … we are set to post our second successive profit which is rare in the current uncertain economic climate,” said Mr Hogan.
“It illustrates the impact and success that the Etihad Airways unique business model has made.”
Etihad’s maiden profit in 2011 was US$14 million (Dh51.4m).
Key to the airline’s performance had been its organic fleet and network growth, achieved through extending its codeshare agreements, and strategic equity partnerships. These had come together to create “a virtuous circle of growth opportunities for the airline and its partners,” added Mr Hogan.
His speech gave details of the airline’s strong financial portfolio, with more than $6.5 billion in funding from more than 50 international financial institutions; and on how the airline managed market risks from fuel prices and foreign currency fluctuations, to interest rates and emissions charging.
Mr Hogan added that the airline’s success “could not have been achieved without the airline earning the confidence of the leading global financial institutions”.
He was speaking as Etihad announced it was increasing its capacity on its Dublin flights by deploying a Boeing 777-300ER on the route from July 2.
Etihad carried more than 215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin last year, with the route once again in the airline’s top 10 most popular.
The B777s, which will operate on six of the 10 flights Etihad schedules each week, will increase capacity on the route by 34 per cent, providing an additional 900 seats each week compared with the current schedule, with an extra 36 in business class and 864 in economy. An Airbus A330-200 will continue to operate on the four remaining flights.
Etihad launched its services to Ireland in July 2007 with an initial four flights per week, increasing to six then moving to a daily service in March 2008. This was further increased to the current service in March 2010.
“Ireland is an important market and country for Etihad Airways and this can be seen in our investments which include our line maintenance facility at Dublin Airport, the opening of a premium lounge at Terminal 2 in 2011, as well as cultural partnerships with the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship, and The Gathering Ireland 2013,” added Mr Hogan.