Etihad Airways says it continued its industry-leading growth in the first quarter of 2012, with a 28 % rise in revenue to US$ 989 million over the corresponding period in 2011 and passenger numbers soaring by 500,000 to 2.4 million.
In a media statement, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said: “We met all our revenue targets and budget estimates in the first quarter, despite the challenging economic conditions confronting the international community.
“Despite the tough economic times we believe our business model of organic network growth combined with codeshare partnerships and strategic equity investments will enable us to continue to prosper and ensure sustainable profitability.”
The results were announced as the airline unveiled plans for a significant expansion of its global network over the next 18 months.
These included a daily service to Etihad Airways’ first South America destination and a new service to Vietnam. South American flights would begin mid next year with details of the first destination now being finalised. Etihad Airways also planned to replicate the success of its European expansion by introducing additional frequencies to a range of other destinations in Asia and Australia.
Already in the first quarter of 2012 Etihad Airways has announced the launch of non-stop daily flights to Washington, D.C., begun flights to Tripoli, Shanghai and Nairobi, and will soon start services to Basra and Lagos, as well as increase flight frequencies to Düsseldorf, Bangkok, Cairo, Kuwait, and Dammam.
Extra capacity will also be added to London Heathrow and Kuala Lumpur. The national airline of the United Arab Emirates now has a worldwide network that stretches across 84 cities in 54 countries.