Etihad Airways has reported its strongest ever third quarter financial results, generating $US1.1 billion revenue, up 39 per cent on the same period of 2010.
Passenger numbers also increased 18 per cent, with the national carrier of Abu Dhabi carrying 2.25 million fare paying customers over the period.
Seat factors – the percentage of seats available to those filled - increased by 3.8 per cent to 80.7 per cent, the highest quarterly result in the brief history of the airline.
Operating costs rose 12 per cent, on a 12 per cent rise in capacity, while non-fuel costs rose seven per cent.
The airline has 81 per cent of its fuel hedged for the rest of 2011.
Etihad chief executive officer, James Hogan, said the figures contributed to strong profitability at an EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) level and the airline had moved into monthly operating profitability.
“Despite the continuing challenges of high fuel prices and economic downturn in many of the markets in which Etihad operates, we are seeing strong growth in all our key commercial indicators,” Hogan added.
“Our clear target is to break even in 2011 and this is another big step in the right direction for us.
“We are well on track to delivering a continuing financial return to our shareholder.”
Etihad has added six aircraft to its fleet in the last 12 months, enabling the airline to build greater depth into its schedule and increase weekly frequencies to key markets including Paris, Manchester, Milan, Geneva, Brussels, Bangalore, and Manila.
In the coming months Etihad will begin flying to six new destinations: the Maldives (from November 1st), the Seychelles (November 2nd), Chengdu in China (December 15th), Düsseldorf (December 16th), Shanghai (March 1st, 2012) and Nairobi (April 1st, 2012).
“Next year we take delivery of another seven passenger aircraft – four B777-300ER aircraft, plus three A320-200s – so the careful, strategic expansion of our global network will continue,” Hogan continued.
Etihad is considered the World’s Leading Airline by the prestigious World Travel Awards.