Bloomberg News

Etihad Quarterly Sales Climb 31% as Partnerships Boost Travelers

July 04, 2012

Etihad Airways, the Middle East’s third-largest carrier, said second-quarter revenue climbed 31 percent as partnerships with other airlines boosted passenger traffic.

Revenue rose to $1.25 billion from $957 million a year earlier, the Abu Dhabi-based airline said in an e-mailed statement today, without providing a number for earnings. Passenger numbers increased 34 percent to 2.55 million in the period with average seat factor, or percentage of seats filled, rising 4.6 percentage points to 77.6 percent.

“In a quarter when many airlines have seen demand softening, we have been able to add more passengers than ever before, with growth outstripping our capacity increases,” Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said in the statement. “We remain focused and on track to deliver profitability for the full year.”

Etihad competes at home with Dubai-based Emirates, the largest airline by international traffic. Emirates is building the world’s biggest fleet of Airbus SAS superjumbos to establish Dubai as a long-haul travel hub. Neighboring Doha is also competing for market share as Qatar Airways Ltd., the region’s second-largest carrier, grows its fleet with $50 billion worth of aircraft on order.

State-owned Etihad posted its first-ever profit last year, achieving net income of $14 million. Code-share deals and partnerships fed 800,000 passengers into Etihad’s network in the first half, adding $281 million in revenue, it said. Codeshare deals allow the airline to sell tickets on flights operated by its partners.

In the quarter, Etihad raised its stake in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. (VAH) to 4.99 percent and said it targeted a 10 percent holding over time. The airline also accumulated a 2.99 percent stake in Dublin-based Aer Lingus Group Plc (AERL), and minority holdings in Air Berlin Plc (AB1) and Air Seychelles Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tamara Walid in Dubai at twalid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net


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