06 Jan 2014 10:30
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is celebrating a year of record-breaking success after achieving its highest ever passenger and cargo volumes in 2013.
Nearly 12 million
people flew with Etihad Airways last year, marking a significant increase of nearly
16 per cent in comparison to 2012’s figure of 10.3 million.
Bangkok was once
again the airline’s busiest route, with a total of 742,759 passengers flying to
Thailand’s capital city in 2013, a year-on-year increase of seven per cent.
Manila was the
second busiest route (547,068 passengers), followed by London (544,564 passengers),
Jeddah (373,651 passengers) and Paris (338,969 passengers).
carried 73 per cent of the more than 16.4 million passengers who travelled
through Abu Dhabi airport in 2013. With the addition of the airline’s equity
alliance partners that operate flights into Abu Dhabi, the combined total rises
to 79 per cent of passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi airport.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Our
record-breaking numbers in 2013 reflect the continued success of our strategic
master plan, which focuses on three fundamental pillars; organic network
growth, the forging of codeshare partnerships, and minority equity investments
in other airlines.
“As the national
carrier of the United Arab Emirates, we also continued to support Abu Dhabi’s growth
as a leading international travel hub, while facilitating trade to and from the
were introduced to Etihad Airways’ network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington DC in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana’a in September, and Ho Chi Minh City in October.
also increased on 18 existing routes last year and new codeshare agreements were signed with Kenya
Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air
Canada and airBaltic.
During 2013, building on its organic growth, Etihad
Airways also expanded its codeshare and equity partnerships, which delivered
more than 1.8 million passengers onto Etihad Airways flights, 38 per cent
higher than the 1.3 million in 2012.
In addition to its
four existing equity partners – airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and
Aer Lingus - Etihad Airways announced
investments in three additional carriers in 2013.
In August, the
airline formalised a five-year contract to manage Serbia’s national carrier,
Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways), with a 49 per cent equity stake. This was
followed in November, when the airline obtained regulatory approval from the
Indian government to finalise a 24 per cent investment in Jet Airways, and
announced its intention to acquire 33.3 per cent of the Swiss regional carrier
Darwin Airline, which will become the first airline to operate under the new
brand of Etihad Regional.
Impressive cargo growth was also reported, with 486,753
tonnes of freight and mail flown by Etihad Airways last year, a staggering increase
of 32 per cent compared to 2012 volumes. The airline accounted for 89 per cent
of cargo imports, exports and transfers at Abu Dhabi airport last year.
Volumes were boosted
by enhancements to the freighter fleet capability and more cargo in the
bellyhold of passenger aircraft. Established markets such as China, Hong Kong
and India were top performers, in addition to expanding markets such as the Netherlands
and the United States.
Last year, Etihad
Airways took delivery of eight Airbus aircraft (four A320s, one A321, two
A330-200s and one A330 freighter), eight Boeing aircraft (six 777-300ERs and
two 777 freighters), and added further leased capacity which included the
airline’s inaugural 747-8 freighter. Its fleet now comprises 89 aircraft, with
an average age of only 5.2 years.
Mr Hogan added: “This
has been another game-changing year and once again, the customer was placed at
the heart of everything we did. Our service enhancements in 2013, from the launch
of our Flying Nanny service to the continued rollout of Wi-Fi internet and live television across our fleet,
highlight a commitment to delivering
best-in-class products and services.
am excited about what the future holds and look forward to working with all our
partners to maximise the return for our shareholder, enable the continued
growth and the evolution of Abu Dhabi as an aviation hub, and create a
remarkable experience for our passengers.”