x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Etihad boosts Indonesia links

Etihad Airways yesterday announced an expansion of its partnership with Garuda Indonesia.

Etihad's purchase of 24 per cent of Jet is the first such deal since India allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49 per cent local carriers last September. Andrew Parsons / The National
Etihad's purchase of 24 per cent of Jet is the first such deal since India allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49 per cent local carriers last September. Andrew Parsons / The National

Etihad Airways yesterday announced an expansion of its partnership with Garuda Indonesia bringing the total number of code-share destinations with the Jakarta-based airline to 10.

Etihad's chief executive James Hogan highlighted the strategic importance of the four new code-share destinations. "The new points on the domestic network give us unprecedented access to more than six million potential Indonesian travellers and provide opportunities for deeper commercial ties to the oil, gas and mining industries in the region."

The Abu Dhabi carrierhas code-shares with more than 40 airlines. It has also struck deals with carriers - what it calls the first "equity alliance" - as it pushes more passengers onto its network and through its hub in the Middle East.

The return to profitability of its equity partner, Air Berlin, after five years showed that revenues were boosted by its alliance with Etihad, which delivered more than 219,000 passengers onto the German carrier's network, accounting for more than €50 million (Dh243m) in additional revenues.

Over the weekend, Air Berlin reported earnings before interest and tax of €70.2m in 2012, up more than €300m over the previous year, with a net profit of €6.8m. Revenues were more than €4 billion. Etihad owns a 30 per cent stake in Air Berlin.

Etihad last week agreed a partnership with Kenya Airways, a move "in line with our strategy of forming alliances with airlines around the world to enhance our network and marketing reach", Mr Hogan said.

Earlier this month Etihad reported record full-year earnings. Profits tripled and revenue, passenger numbers and cost controls all improved during a year in which the airline took equity stakes in several international peers.

"This has been a game-changing year for Etihad Airways," Mr Hogan said at the time. "We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment.

"We have taken great strides in building the industry's first 'equity alliance', with our investments in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus, which are contributing significant value to our business."

Etihad also announced yesterday that it would be increasing capacity on its daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, introducing a new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from December 1.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company said yesterday passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport showed a 19.6 per cent increase last month, compared with January 2012. More than 1.3 million passengers passed through the airport's facilities last month.

Cargo volumes rose 25 per cent year on year to 48,875 tonnes.

 

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