Etihad Airways, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary of operations, has recorded its strongest ever passenger for a first quarter.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline posted quarter one passenger revenues of US$900 million, an increase of 19 per cent on the previous year.
Passenger numbers in the period grew by 18 per cent, rising from 2.3 million to a record 2.8 million.
The average seat factor was 80.5 per cent, four percentage points higher than the previous year, despite a 12 per cent increase in capacity.
The seat factor is above the IATA current global average of 77.1 per cent.
Etihad Cargo also had its strongest first quarter, with tonnage up 20 per cent from 85,152 to 101,776 tonnes.
Etihad chief executive James Hogan said: “Our first quarter 2013 results have again outstripped global trends, with our strongest ever first quarter results for passenger revenue.
“This performance demonstrates that Etihad Airways’ strategy of organic growth, wide-ranging partnerships, and strategic equity investments is delivering for us and our partners.”
Revenue from codeshare and equity partners jumped by 34 per cent from US$136 million to US$182 million in the first three months of the year and represented 20 per cent of total revenue in the quarter.
“As well as increasing top-line revenue, our equity partnerships will improve bottom-line results, through cost savings delivered by operational synergies,” Hogan said.
Etihad Airways’ equity alliance comprises airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, and Aer Lingus.
Each airline announced profitable results during the first quarter of 2013, which demonstrates the success of this new alliance model for all the member airlines.
In February 2013, Etihad Airways announced a US$42 million profit for 2012 with revenues of US$4.8 billion and passenger numbers breaking ten million for the first time.