Etihad Airways sees passenger numbers rise in 2016

Etihad Airways sees passenger numbers rise in 2016

Etihad Airways has delivered another year of sustained growth in 2016, helped by new aircraft and additional frequencies.

The airline carried 18.5 million guests during the year, up six per cent on 2015.

However, Etihad Airways Group chief executive James Hogan will leave the group later this year.

Stakes Etihad has taken in Alitalia and airberlin have underperformed, leading to questions over the strategy the airline has pursued.

During the year, Etihad Airways operated more than 109,000 scheduled passenger and cargo flights spanning around 446 million kilometres and 112 destinations.

Capacity, measured in available seat kilometres, grew by nine per cent and passenger traffic, measured by revenue passenger kilometres, rose by eight per cent.

The average load factor held steady at 79 per cent.

No financial information was released.

Outgoing chief Hogan said: “Last year saw sustained growth in a very tough business environment.

“This is where Etihad Airways’ superior products and services show their true value and where the strength of the EAG business model comes into effect through its diversity of businesses, cost effective synergies and global spread of risk.

“Most importantly, in 2016 we were able to introduce our new Group structure, which positions this business for long-term growth and development.”

Etihad Airways carried more than 76 per cent of the total passengers who travelled to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2016.

With the addition of the airline’s equity partners that operate flights into the UAE capital, the combined total rises to 86 per cent of passenger traffic at the airport.

The Etihad Aviation Group workforce, as of December 31st, stood at 26,635 employees, representing 150 nationalities.

The airline continued to prioritise its Emiratisation programme, and in November, celebrated the graduation of 310 future leaders from the Future Leaders Programmes, a strong indication of the company’s commitment to investing in its people.

Hogan added: “This year will be another challenging year.

“We will continue to expand prudently and efficiently, reflecting the nature of the economic environment.

“We remain optimistic and have every belief that our robust business model will succeed and, most importantly, stand the test of time.”