Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:38 am
ABU DHABI (AFP) – Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said Tuesday it posted a 28 percent surge in revenues in the first half of 2014, hitting $3.2 billion, with passenger and cargo volumes up.
The fast-growing carrier said it experienced its “strongest ever performance for the six-month period,” with passenger numbers rising 22 percent to 6.7 million, compared to the first half of 2013.
It did not say whether it registered any profits or losses.
Etihad Cargo also carried 25 percent more freight in the same period, the Abu Dhabi-owned company said in a statement.
The company is turning Abu Dhabi into a major travel hub on the route between the West, and Asia and Australasia.
“At a time when the global airline industry has struggled with high fuel prices, intense competition and a slowdown in the cargo market, Etihad Airways has achieved record success, carrying more passengers and cargo to more destinations around the world, with our biggest fleet to date,” said chief executive officer James Hogan.
Etihad carried 11.5 million passengers last year, earning $6.1 billion in revenues, of which it kept $62 million as profit.
The company agreed last month to acquire 49 percent of Italy’s debt-laden Alitalia, widening its reach into the European market.
Launched in 2003, Etihad is expanding rapidly and has bought minor shares in several smaller carriers around the world as it competes with larger Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Etihad owns 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 percent of Virgin Australia and three percent of Aer Lingus.
It also owns a 24-percent stake in India’s Jet Airways.