Etihad Airways carried some 3.5 million passengers in the first half of 2020, down 58 per cent from the 8.2 million reported in the same period of last year.
The figure illustrates the impact the Covid-19 outbreak has taken on the aviation sector this year.
The Abu Dhabi flag-carrier recorded a core operating loss of US$758 million, having lost US$586 million during the first half of 2019.
The drop was driven by a 38 per cent drop in revenue, which stood at US$ 1.7 billion during the first six months of the year.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad faced a set of enormous and unpredictable challenges in the first six months of the year.
“We started 2020 strong, and recorded encouraging results as part of our continuing transformation programme.
“This left us in a relatively robust position when Covid-19 hit, allowing us to act with agility, and to mobilise all available resources as the crisis deepened, taking major steps to reduce costs through a wide-reaching series of measures.”
Etihad operated up to 40 of its fleet of 97 passenger aircraft in quarter two of 2020.
Between March 25th and June 15th, over 640 special passenger flights were operated to 45 online and offline destinations, using the passenger cabins of these aircraft to fly foreign nationals out of the United Arab Emirates.
However, the airline saw a significant decrease in quarter two operating revenues following Covid-19 flight suspensions, with 70 per cent of its fleet grounded.
This period registered a 99 per cent drop in passenger numbers and a 95 per cent drop in ASK compared to quarter two of 2019.
“While we have revised our outlook for the rest of 2020 based on current realities, we remain optimistic that as international borders re-open, we will increase our flying and carry more guests.
“By September, we aim to increase our worldwide flights to half our pre-Covid-19 capacity,” concluded Douglas.