News Column

Etihad H1 revenues up 28 per cent to $3.2b

July 8, 2014

Alexander Cornwell Staff Reporter

Dubai: Etihad Airways said on Tuesday its first-half revenues grew 28 per cent to $3.2 billion between January and June this year.

A total of 6.7 million passengers travelled with Etihad over the first half of the year, representing a 22 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. Capacity, measured by available seat kilometres, grew by 19 per cent to 39.4 billion. The airline increased its fleet size from 79 to 102 aircraft.

While the airline did not release passenger or cargo division revenue numbers, Will Horton, senior analyst at CAPA Centre for Aviation, estimates that Etihad's passenger revenue grew by 14 per cent when compared to first-half 2013 figures previously released by the airline.

He told Gulf News in an e-mailed statement that unless there was a significant increase in load factor (traffic figures were also not released), "Etihad saw an imbalance with capacity added ahead of demand."

Etihad Cargo recorded a 27 per cent revenue growth, according to the airline, with 268,713 tonnes of "freight and mail" carried over the first half, up 25 per cent.

Codeshare and equity stake airlines continue to funnel traffic through the Etihad's Abu Dhabi hub with these partnerships delivering an estimated 1.4 million passengers onto Etihad flights, up 28 per cent year-on-year. The partnerships contributed $471 million in revenue, representing 23 per cent of Etihad's passenger revenue.

"Some partnerships are maturing while others, including major ones, are bedding down, [and] so revenue will continue to increase from partnerships," Horton stated.

Etihad holds stakes in seven airlines from as far as Australia to Ireland and has agreed in principal to take a 49 per cent stake in Italy's Alitalia. This year, Etihad has injected Â300 million ($407.7 million) into Air Berlin, where it holds a 29.21 per cent stake, and increased its stake in Aer Lings to 4.11 per cent by purchasing six million shares. It has also acquired two companies from Mubadala this year for an undisclosed sum.

Etihad's half-year report was backed by a strong second quarter. The airline carried 3.5 million passengers and 140,892 tonnes of cargo between April and June, both up 25 per cent, according to the airline.

"We have ambitious plans to build on this momentum in the second half of 2014, with five more destinations being introduced into our global network, and our ground-breaking Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 also entering service, which will reinforce our status as a global market leader," stated James Hogan, President and Chief Executive of Etihad Airways.

In the first half, Etihad said, it launched flights to Medina, Jaipur, Zurich and Los Angeles while increasing frequencies on five routes, according to Etihad. Etihad Cargo has added weekly freighter services to Dar es Salaam and Entebbe and increased frequencies to Beijing, Almaty and Bangalore. It also added more belly hold capacity on passenger flights to Munich, New York and Chengdu.

Etihad's workforce rose 28 per cent in the first half of the year to 20,149 employees.

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Source: Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)

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