Sunday, December 30, 2012

Etihad to fly higher than its 10 million passengers target

Etihad Airways has broken its 10 million passenger target for 2012, notching up a 22 percent increase on the number of people it carried last year.

By midnight on 31 December, the airline will have carried over 10.29 million, and increase of 1.88 million on 2011.

The performance means Etihad Airways will have carried 73 percent of all passengers through Abu Dhabi international airport, a 5.3 percent increase on 2011's figure of 67.7 percent.

If passenger numbers on Etihad Airways' equity partners' flights into Abu Dhabi - Air Berlin, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles - are added, then the combined total for 2012 rises to 76 percent of all passengers.

And if passengers on Etihad Airways' codeshare partners are added, the total percentage of all Etihad-generated passenger traffic through Abu Dhabi increases to 81 percent.

"Etihad Airways has achieved significant expansion in 2012 and therefore it's very satisfying to pass our target of flying more than 10 million passengers during a year for the first time," James Hogan, Etihad Airways' president and chief executive officer, said.

"An example of the success of this cooperation is the 300,000 passengers airberlin and Etihad Airways have delivered onto each other's networks during the last 12 months.

"We have launched flights to six new destinations during the last year - Tripoli, Shanghai, Nairobi, Basra, Lagos, and Ahmedabad - which have all contributed to the 22 percent increase in passenger numbers."

The carrier's global network now covers 87 of its own passenger and cargo destinations, and 245 codeshare destinations. According to figures released by the airline yesterday, Etihad Airways and its equity partners will have collectively carried more than 74m passengers in 2012.

The passenger growth for equity partners by the end of 2012, will be 33.4m on Air Berlin, 19.5m passengers on Virgin Australia, almost 11m on Aer Lingus, and 241,000 passengers on Air Seychelles.

The Etihad code share partners that operate into Abu Dhabi international airport are Air Astana, Alitalia, Czech Airlines, Garuda Indonesian, Hainan Airlines, Jet Airways, KLM, MEA, nasair, RAK Airways, Safi Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Ukraine International.

In 2012 Etihad Cargo also contributed 87 percent of tonnage into, out of, and through the Abu Dhabi hub. The total handled hub tonnage by the end of the year will be more than 640,000 tonnes. Overall in 2012 Etihad Cargo carried a record 365,000 tonnes, up 18 per cent on 2011.

Etihad Airways' busiest route was Bangkok with the airline carrying nearly 691,000 passengers to the Thai capital during the year, a 38 per cent increase on 2011.

This was closely followed by Manila, Heathrow and Jeddah. Sydney, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester, Doha and Dublin complete the list of the 10 most popular routes.

During 2012 Etihad Airways beat its previous record for the number of passengers carried in a single day with 33,766 passengers flying on Saturday 14 July.

In the course of 2012, the airline took delivery of seven new aircraft - three Airbus A320s and four Boeing B777s. Next year it will take delivery of 14 new aircraft - four Airbus A320 and one A321 passenger aircraft, and one A330 freighter, as well as two Boeing B777 freighters, and six B777-300ER passenger aircraft.

The airline will also commence three new scheduled routes in 2013, to Washington DC in March, Sao Paulo in June, and Ho Chi Minh City in October.


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