• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

Etihad Airways posts $1.8bn revenue in Q3 2014

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Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, which also operates twice weekly flights to Lagos, has reported total revenue of $1.8 billion for the third quarter (Q3) of 2014, an increase of 29 percent year-on-year, achieved on the back of accelerated passenger and cargo growth during the summer.

A total of 3.9 million passengers travelled with Etihad Airways between July and September this year, 30 percent higher than the 3 million passengers from the same period in 2013.

Etihad Cargo also outperformed the global market, carrying 144,498 tons of freight and mail during the Q3, a year-on-year increase of 9 percent, on only 1 percent capacity growth.

The growth in passenger demand and revenue during the three month period once again outstripped the airline’s capacity increase, highlighting the strength of its long-term growth strategy.

Etihad Airways remains on track to achieve its strongest ever annual results, having carried 10.5 million passengers and almost 415,000 tons of cargo between January and September 2014.

Speaking on the development, James Hogan, president/CEO of Etihad Airways, said: “Our focus on organic growth, codeshare partnerships and minority investments in other airlines has continued to produce strong results, despite the prevalence of industry challenges such as volatile oil prices, economic and political instability, overcapacity in the market, and access constraints.

“We are confident about sustaining our profitability in 2014, and there are a number of important milestones in the final quarter, including the entry into service of Etihad Airways’ ground-breaking Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in our striking new livery. These aircraft will feature our next generation First, Business and Economy Class products, together with The Residence by Etihad™, the world’s first three-room private cabin. In addition, we will introduce Phuket, San Francisco and Dallas into our network over the remainder of this year.”

Following the launch of services to Medina, Jaipur, Los Angeles and Zurich in the first half of 2014, the Q3 included the start of Yerevan, Perth and Rome services, while frequencies increased on eight existing routes, including Dublin, Athens and Chennai.

The airline’s global route network currently includes 110 existing or announced destinations, with flights launching to Phuket this month, San Francisco in November, and Dallas in December.

During this period, a new partnership agreement was signed with Philippine Airlines (PAL), covering codeshare flights, loyalty programmes, airport lounges, cargo, and coordination of airport operations. Etihad Airways also expanded existing codeshares with partners such as Korean Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air New Zealand and S7 Airlines.

Etihad Airways and Alitalia signed a transaction implementation agreement in August 2014, which, subject to regulatory approval, will result in a €1,758 million investment to build a reinvigorated Alitalia.

This includes a €560 million investment by Etihad Airways to acquire a 49 percent shareholding in Alitalia, a 75 percent interest in Alitalia’s loyalty company, which operates the MilleMiglia frequent flier programme, and five pairs of slots at London’s Heathrow Airport, which will be leased back to Alitalia on an arm’s length basis.

Etihad Airways’ investment will be complemented by a €300 million investment from existing core Alitalia shareholders, up to €598 million in financial restructuring of debt, and €300 million of new loan facilities.

Sade Williams