Etihad flies high with record Q2 revenue
Abu Dhabi, July 8, 2013
UAE national carrier Etihad Airways has announced its strongest second quarter and half-year financial performances on record, reflecting continued solid growth in its airline alliance strategy and global cargo operations.
The Abu Dhabi airline netted $921 million passenger revenues for the second quarter, up eight per cent over last year's $855 million, while the revenues for the first half hit $1.8 billion, up 13 per cent over last year's $1.6 billion, said a statement from the UAE airline.
Etihad Cargo too achieved the strongest growth with a massive 26 per cent jump in Q2 volumes, it stated.
The Abu Dhabi airline said the revenue generated by its codeshare and equity alliance partners in the second quarter witnessed solid growth rising to $184 million, up 25 per cent over the $147 million turnover in the same period of 2012.
The partnership revenue comprised 20 per cent of the airline’s total passenger revenue in both the second quarter and the first half of 2013.
Commenting on the growth, CEO and president James Hogan said the company achieved record results 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 second quarter and the first half of 2013, Hogan stated.
“This reflects not only the continuing popularity of our Abu Dhabi hub, but the growing maturity of our airline partnership strategy and the strength of our cargo operations, which continue to well exceed industry growth rates,” he noted.
Hogan pointed out 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, he added.
The Abu Dhabi airline increased its codeshare partnerships during the second quarter, adding Serbia’s national carrier, JatAirways besides announcing new partnerships with Air Canada, South African Airways and Belavia of Belarussia, all to take effect during Q3.
With these inclusions, Etihad 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, said Hogan.
In the second quarter, Etihad’s available seat kilometres (ASKs) – reflecting network seat capacity – rose by 13 per cent to 17.2 billion over last year's 15.2 billion, while its revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) – reflecting traffic – increased by 13 per cent to 13.3 billion for the period over 11.8 billion last year.
This growth was achieved through the delivery of two new Boeing 777-300 passenger aircraft – a three-class version seating 328 passengers and a two-class model seating 380 - and a corresponding increase in flights, including new services to Amsterdam, Sao Paulo and Belgrade, he observed.
According to him, the 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 too continued to achieve the strongest growth in the company, with 112,963 tons uplifted in Q2 2013 over 89,470 tons last year and 215,124 tons in the first half of 2013 over 174,622 tons during the same period last year.
This reflected a massive 26 per cent growth in Q2 and 23 per cent growth for the first half of 2013, said the company chief.
"The growth in cargo volumes was underpinned by the delivery in Q2 of three new freighter aircraft – one Airbus A330-200F, one Boeing 777-200F and the company’s first Boeing 747-8F, which was wet leased from Atlas Air – taking the cargo fleet to nine. Cargo performance was further boosted by increased passenger services, providing more under-floor freight capacity," he stated.
During the second quarter Etihad had announced that, subject to regulatory approvals, it would acquire 24 per cent of India’s Jet Airways, enlarging the Etihad Airways equity alliance and group network.
In addition, Etihad signed an initial MoU with the Government of Serbia to discuss potentially investing in JatAirways. Etihad Airways also secured Australian regulatory approval to increase its equity stake in Virgin Australia from 10 per cent to 19.9 per cent.
As well as its Virgin Australia stake, the Abu Dhabi carrier holds a 29 per cent shareholding in airberlin, 40 per cent of Air Seychelles and three per cent of Aer Lingus.-TradeArabia News Service