Etihad makes first ever quarterly profit

Etihad Airways has revealed its most successful first quarter results to date, with revenues up 21.2 per cent to US$770 million.

Releasing the results chief executive James Hogan attributable the performance to strong performances in both passenger and cargo traffic.

Coupled with a 5.9 per cent reduction in costs per available seat kilometre, this delivered positive EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) in the quarter for the first time.

The results mark continued progress towards the airline’s goal of break-even in 2011 and profitability in 2012.

Etihad was also recognised by the World Travel Awards as the World’s Leading Airline in 2010.

Passenger revenues rose 15 per cent on the back of a 10.6 per cent growth in passenger numbers, to 1,854,392. Seat factor fell slightly to 72.7 per cent (Q1 2010: 75.1 per cent) due to the impact of Middle East unrest and the Japanese earthquake.

Etihad’s cargo revenues grew by 44 per cent year on year on a capacity growth of 22 per cent for the quarter, with March representing Etihad Crystal Cargo’s best month ever in terms of revenues, number of shipments and tonnage carried.

Hogan explained: “I am pleased to report more positive progress on our journey towards break-even and profitability.

“Our revenues continue to grow faster than our passenger numbers and, thanks to our robust cost controls, we are seeing a real benefit in our overall performance. This marks the first time we have delivered positive EBITDAR in Q1.”

“These results were achieved despite significant challenges in our operating environment. 

“This quarter saw unrest in a number of Middle East countries, which has clearly resulted in lower traffic into those markets.

“The earthquake in Japan in early March has also had an impact.

“Our ability to respond to these situations is a reflection of the growing maturity and underlying strength of the business.”