Etihad Airways carried more than three million passengers in the third quarter of 2013, as the carrier’s rapid growth continued.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline carried a total of 3.04m passengers from July to September 2013 – 11% more than the 2.75m it carried in the same period last year. This boosted passenger revenues to US$1.03 billion, 10% more than Q3 2013 and the first time Etihad has exceeded US$1bn for a quarter. Average cabin load factors remained at a strong 81%.
Revenue from the Etihad’s codeshare and equity alliance partners surged 36% to US$247m as the airline continued its strategy of acquiring equity stakes in other airlines, sealing deals with India’s Jet Airways and Air Serbia.
“In addition to our own growth in Q3, we continued to develop our partnership strategy,” said James Hogan, Etihad’s president & CEO. “Headlining our partnership activities, we continued to work closely with regulatory authorities in India as we progressed our plans to acquire 24% of Jet Airways – the first offshore investment in an Indian airline under the country’s foreign direct investment legislation.
“We signed an agreement with the government of Serbia to enter into a five-year contract to manage Serbia’s national airline, Air Serbia, currently trading as Jat Airways, and integrated its frequent flyer programme with our own Etihad Guest. We also increased our stake in
Virgin Australia from 10.5 to 17.4%, and launched partnerships with South African Airways, Air Canada, Belavia and Korean Air,” he added.
In the first three months of the 2013, Etihad has now carried 8.6m passengers, 13% more than the same period last year, while passenger revenues have increased 12% to US$2.85bn. Etihad now operates a fleet of 83 aircraft.