Etihad Airways boosted revenues and trimmed its costs last year with the aim of reaching its first profits after seven years of rapid growth.
The Abu Dhabi airline managed to beat its own targets in reducing expenses by US$320 million (Dh1.17bn), despite launching seven new destinations and adding 800 staff, said James Hogan, the chief executive.
Revenues climbed 29 per cent to $2.95bn, and passenger volumes rose 13 per cent to 7.1 million.
Mr Hogan said the improved results would put the airline in position to achieve its target of breaking even this year.
“In 2010 we achieved our numbers and we are bullish that as the market changes we will achieve our break-even,” he said at The National’s Industry Insights forum in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
As it prepares to reach break-even the airline plans new developments to drive the next phase of growth, including opening a travel agency and co-ordinating a marketing programme with Abu Dhabi hotels to attract more tourists to the UAE capital.
MORE: Etihad Airways is preparing for its next phase of growth, in which it aims to evolve from strictly an airline operator into a more diverse business, including plans for a travel agency and hotels - with video.