x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Etihad Airways posts record first quarter results

The UAE's national airline reports passenger revenues of US$900 million and cargo revenues of $193m for the first three months of the year.

Etihad Airways today posted record first quarter results for both its passenger and cargo operations and its best ever load factor in a decade of operations.

The national airline of the UAE reported passenger revenues of US$900 million (Dh3.3 billion) for the first three months of 2013, compared to $758m for the same quarter in 2012, an increase of 19 per cent. Cargo revenues were $193m for the same period, up from $165m for the first three months of 2012, an increase of 17 per cent.

Passenger numbers grew by 18 per cent, rising from 2.3 million to a record 2.8 million, with an average seat loading factor of 80.5 per cent, four per cent higher than the previous year of 76.5 per cent, despite a 12 per cent increase in capacity. The seat factor is above the International Air Transport Association's current global average of 77.1 per cent.

Etihad Cargo also had its strongest first quarter, with tonnage up 20 per cent from 85,152 to 101,776 tonnes.

"The results have again outstripped global trends, with our strongest ever first quarter results for passenger revenue," said James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways.

"This performance demonstrates that Etihad Airways' strategy of organic growth, wide-ranging partnerships, and strategic equity investments is delivering for us and our partners."

He said revenue from code-share and equity partners jumped by 34 per cent from $136 million to $182 million in the first three months of the year and represented 20 per cent of total revenue in the quarter.

"As well as increasing top-line revenue, our equity partnerships will improve bottom-line results, through cost savings delivered by operational synergies," Mr Hogan added.

Etihad Airways' equity stakes in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, and Aer Lingus also delivered profitable results during the first quarter of 2013.

In February 2013, Etihad Airways announced a $42 million profit for 2012 with revenues of $4.8bn and passenger numbers breaking 10 million for the first time.

Etihad Airways' available seat kilometres (ASKs) rose 12 per cent in Q1 2013 to 15.9 billion, (2012: 14.3 billion) as the fleet grew to 73 passenger and cargo aircraft (2012: 66 aircraft). Revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 17 per cent to 12.9 billion (2012: 10.9 billion) sharply out performing capacity growth.

The airline also bucked the global trend in air cargo, with Etihad Cargo posting new highs in the first quarter. Volumes were up 20 per cent, on capacity growth of 19 per cent, driven by a strong performances in North East Asia, combined with good growth from the Indian Subcontinent from mid-February, an Etihad spokesman said.

"Etihad Cargo also took delivery of a new Boeing 777 Freighter, which was deployed on European and African routes during the quarter. A second Boeing 747 freighter entered the fleet at the end of March, taking the total cargo fleet to eight aircraft," the spokesman added. "The new twice-weekly freighter operation from Houston to Abu Dhabi enhanced the results."

The results follow Etihad's 'Big Switch' in March, which saw the airline change over to a new, more comprehensive online passenger sales, website, and check-in system, the launch of daily flights to Washington DC and the opening of a new $6.8 million premier lounge at Washington Dulles Airport.

dblack@thenational.ae