UAE. Etihad Airways today announced a 31% increase in its Q2 2012 revenues to US$1.25 billion (2011: US$957 million), contributing to first half 2012 revenues up 30% to US$2.24 billion (US$1.73 billion).
Passenger numbers leapt to 2.55 million in Q2, up 34%, and to 4.89 million in the half year, thanks to increased overall capacity and improved seat factors.
The record results were boosted by the airline's growing network of codeshares and strategic partnerships which together fed 800,000 passengers into Etihad Airways’ network in the last six months, contributing US$281 million.
During the quarter, Etihad Airways took minority equity stakes in Aer Lingus and in Virgin Australia, adding to its minority shareholdings in airberlin and Air Seychelles.
Together these five airlines carried 72 million passengers on 376 aircraft in 2011, generating combined revenues of more than US$14 billion.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways said: "These results are an endorsement of our strategy, which has seen us widen and deepen our partnerships in addition to continued focus on our organic growth plan.
"In a quarter when many airlines have seen demand softening, we have been able to add more passengers than ever before, with growth outstripping our capacity increases."
Last month the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported the recent fall in oil prices had been “offset by the continued and deepening European sovereign debt crisis which had led markets to expect a further deterioration and damage to economic growth.”
But Mr Hogan said the airline was on track for a successful full year performance, despite the challenging market conditions.
"This continues to be a tough operating environment for all airlines. Our strategies allow us to drive quality revenue and we remain focused and on track to deliver profitability for the full year, for the second year running.”
Etihad Airways launched new routes to Basra and Nairobi during the quarter, and started a new Abu Dhabi-Lagos service on July 1, 2012, bringing its direct network of cities served up to 87. It also announced new codeshare agreements which brought its total passenger network up to 308 destinations, by far the largest of any Gulf carrier.
Last month, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to launch daily flights to Sao Paolo in Brazil, its first South American destination, which will start in June 2013.
The airline also continued to make considered investments in marketing, products and services, such as new lounges, the introduction of onboard chefs in its Diamond First class cabin and the launch of a global television advertising campaign to drive awareness of its brand and award-winning services.
Etihad Airways’ available seat kilometres (ASKs) rose 25 per cent to 15.2 billion in Q2 (12.2 billion), as the fleet grew to 67 aircraft (61). Revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 33 per cent to 11.8 billion (8.9 billion).
The average seat factor was 4.6 percentage points higher in the quarter compared to the previous year, up to 77.6 per cent (73.0 per cent).
Etihad Cargo had another strong quarter, with tonnage up six per cent to 74,000 tonnes, contributing to revenues of US$183 million, up 11 per cent. There was strong growth in particular in Germany, the UK and Bangladesh.
The airline continues to keep a tight focus on costs, with non-fuel costs per available seat kilometre (CASK) down one per cent.
Mr Hogan added: "We are also encouraged by the performance of our equity partner airlines. Air Seychelles has made significant strides towards profitability in its own right and I am confident it will break even this year.
"Last month, airberlin, which is now our most important commercial partner, reported faster than expected progress of its shape & size program and a positive outlook for its financial performance.
“We are very pleased to see the projected revenue benefits and cost synergies for both Etihad Airways and our partners tracking in line with, or even above, plan which shows once more that our partnership strategy delivers value to all parties’ shareholders.”
Q2 2012 results
Half year 2012 results
About Etihad Airways
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, began operations in 2003, and in 2011 carried 8.3 million passengers. From its hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Etihad Airways serves 87 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, with a fleet of 67 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and 100 aircraft on order, including 10 Airbus A380s, the world’s largest passenger aircraft. Etihad Airways also holds equity investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus.
For more information, please visit: www.etihadairways.com.