Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced its strongest annual financial results to date and the airline’s fifth consecutive year of net profitability, with a net profit of US$103 million on total revenues of US$9.02 billion. Etihad Airways’ cargo division continued to perform well in 2015 with freight and mail volumes rose 4.0 per cent to 591,000 tonnes, making it one of the world’s most successful air freight operations.
Accounting for 88 per cent of air cargo imports, exports and transfers at Abu Dhabi International Airport last year, Etihad Cargo enhanced its global reach by offering bellyhold capacity on the six new passenger routes, bringing to 96 the total number of passenger destinations on which freight was flown. Etihad Cargo also expanded its freighter services to several new markets including Dakar, Nouakchott and Douala in Africa, taking the number of freighter-only destinations operated to 20.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and CEO said: “Our mandate is to build a sustainably profitable airline. A fifth year of net profits, with our best annual financial performance to date, shows that we are delivering against that goal. Our profitability clearly demonstrates the success of our business strategy, based on organic growth boosted by our partnerships.”
Etihad Airways’ partnership strategy, based on almost 50 codeshare agreements and its strategic minority investments in selected airlines, remained a key driver of its growth in 2015. Hogan said the airline’s return on its equity investments into the seven airlines was many times more than the money it had spent. “For an investment smaller than the cost of three new aircraft, we have been able to build our global network, attract five million new customers and $1.4 billion of revenues, and share massive cost synergies. That’s smart business,” he added.
Etihad Airways carried a total of 17.6 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 18.9 per cent year-on-year. In total, the airline operated 97,400 flights covering 467 million kilometres. The average network-wide seat load factor was 79.4 per cent for 2015, compared with 79.2 per cent in 2014. Six new destinations were added to Etihad Airways’ global network – Kolkata, Madrid, Hong Kong, Entebbe, Edinburgh and Dar es Salaam – and capacity increased on 16 existing routes with bigger aircraft, more frequency and improved seat occupancy.
Etihad Airways’ fleet increased by 11 aircraft to a total of 121 at year end. With an average age of 5.8 years, Etihad Airways’ fleet is one of the youngest and most environmentally friendly in the industry. The additions included four A380-800 and four B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, while further leased capacity was also added. The A380 was rolled out on the Sydney and New York routes, and inducted on a second daily flight to London Heathrow, while the B787 began commercial operations between Abu Dhabi and Zurich, Brisbane, Washington DC and Singapore.
Etihad Airways’ financial statements are audited by Deloitte and are in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).