Etihad welcomes airberlin's profit rebound

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James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO.

James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO.

Etihad Airways on Saturday welcomed the return to profitability of its equity partner airberlin.

The German carrier announced earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of EUR70.2 million in 2012, an increase of more than EUR300m over the previous year, with a net profit of EUR6.8m ($9m).

James Hogan, Etihad's president and CEO, said: "This is welcome news and a clear indication that our partnership with airberlin is delivering tangible results.

"When we announced our equity investment, we made our ambitions clear. We aimed to support airberlin in its drive to become profitable and to build an alliance that would benefit both airlines and the millions of passengers who fly with us every year."

Hogan added: "Our strategic partnership with airberlin is a long term alliance. We look forward to maximising further the potential in areas such as our joint procurement strategies, shared infrastructure and maintenance, and pilot training programmes."

The codesharing of Etihad Airways and airberlin flights has brought a combined total of 239 destinations in 77 countries to both airlines.

airberlin on Thursday posted group revenues of EUR4.31bn, with a load factor increase of 1.6 points to 79.8 per cent.

The airline said revenues were boosted by its alliance with Etihad Airways, which delivered more than 219,000 passengers onto its network, accounting for more than EUR50m in additional revenues.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways announced in December 2011 that it was lifting its stake in airberlin to 29.21 percent and since then the equity partners have implemented a number key initiatives to boost revenues, enhance efficiencies and reduce costs.

The results, covering the first full year of the alliance with Etihad Airways, mark airberlin's return to profitability for the first time since 2007.

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