By Ed Attwood
Abu Dhabi carrier’s revenue up 21.2 percent on 10.6 rise in passengers; seat factor dips slightly
Etihad Airways has announced its first operating profit in the first quarter, pushed by a 21.2 percent growth in revenues to $770m.
The Abu Dhabi airline said that passenger revenues had risen 15 percent, boosted by a 10.6 percent growth in passenger numbers.
The seat factor dipped to 72.7 percent, from 75.1 percent in the same quarter, which the carrier attributed to the Middle East unrest and the affects of the Japanese earthquake.
The carrier also said it had lowered costs per available seat kilometre by 5.9 percent.
Etihad’s freight division, Crystal Cargo, reported a 44 percent revenue growth year-on-year, helped by a 22 percent increase in capacity during the quarter. The division said that March was its best month yet in terms of revenues, number of shipments and tonnage carried.
Crystal Cargo added new scheduled services to Johannesburg, Amsterdam and Kabul, and expanded capacity to Nairobi and Erbil during the quarter.
CEO James Hogan welcomed the results, but warned that the rising oil price was still a concern.
“Subject to the state of the overall global economy, we believe we are well positioned to continue our journey to profitability,” Hogan said, in an emailed statement.
“Fuel prices will be a major challenge for the airline industry this year but I am glad to report that Etihad has hedged more than 75 per cent of its fuel requirements for 2011.”
Etihad will launch a new daily service to Male, in the Maldives, in November and is also expanding frequencies to Manchester and Bangalore.
The airline says that five new wide-bodied aircraft will be delivered to Abu Dhabi this summer.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Did I miss something? What was its operating profit?