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Etihad Airways posts record results for second quarter

Staff writer |
Etihad Airways posted its strongest second quarter and half-year financial performances on record. Etihad's revenues, number of passengers and cargo all went up.

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The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates achieved an eight percent increase in Q2 2013 passenger revenues, generating $921 million (2012: $855 million), while passenger revenues for the first half of 2013 reached $1.8 billion (2012: $1.6 billion), up by 13 percent.

Revenue generated by codeshare and equity alliance airline partners was $184 million in Q2 2013. This was 25 percent above the $147 million turnover in the same period of 2012. Partnership revenue comprised 20 percent of the airline's total passenger revenue in both Q2 and the first half of 2013.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, James Hogan, said the company's Q2 and half year results were achieved despite the continuation of unsteady economic and geopolitical factors, with air fare yields slightly lower for the quarter, compressed by strong competitive capacity growth and resultant price competition.

"Despite the tough global trading climate, we have still achieved record, double digit growth in both Q2 and the first half of 2013," Mr. Hogan said.

Mr. Hogan added that a significant achievement in Q2 was the improved contribution of the Etihad Airways equity alliance partners, in particular Germany's airberlin, which has become the largest codeshare contributor. This reflects increased connectivity between the integrated networks of the two airlines.

Etihad Airways increased its codeshare partnerships during Q2, adding Serbia's national carrier, JatAirways, and announced new partnerships with Air Canada, South African Airways and Belavia of Belarussia, all to take effect during Q3. With these inclusions, Etihad Airways will have 45 codeshare partners and a virtual global network of more than 350 destinations, the most comprehensive of any alliance or Middle Eastern airline.

In Q2, Etihad Airways' Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs, network seat capacity) rose by 13 percent to 17.2 billion (2012: 15.2 billion). Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs, traffic) increased by 13 percent to 13.3 billion in Q2 2013 (2012: 11.8 billion).

This growth was achieved through the delivery of two new Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft and a corresponding increase in flights, including new services to Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Belgrade.

Results for Q2 were further strengthened by the introduction late in March of daily flights to a fourth new destination, Washington, D.C.

Etihad Cargo continued to achieve the strongest growth in the company, with 112,963tons uplifted in Q2 2013 (2012: 89,470 tons) and 215,124 tons in the first half of 2013 (2012: 174,622 tons). This reflected a massive 26 percent growth in Q2 and 23 percent growth for the first half of 2013.

The growth in cargo volumes was underpinned by the delivery in Q2 of three new freighter aircraft taking the cargo fleet to nine. Cargo performance was further boosted by increased passenger services, providing more under-floor freight capacity.

As well as its Virgin Australia stake, Etihad Airways holds a 29 percent shareholding in airberlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles and three percent of Aer Lingus.

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