Etihad Airways posts 28.5 percent rise in Q1 revenues

Passenger numbers shot up 27.4 percent

ABU DHABI - Etihad Airways, one of the Gulf region's fast-growing carriers, said Tuesday its income grew 28.5 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, as passenger numbers surged.
The airline did not disclose its profit, although it announced in February for the first time since its launch in 2003 that it exceeded its target of breaking even by posting a net profit of $14 million in 2011.
Etihad said its total revenues in the first three months of 2012 reached $989 million, compared with $770 million for the corresponding period last year.
Passenger numbers shot up 27.4 percent to 2.36 million.
"We met all our revenue targets and budget estimates in the first quarter, despite the challenging economic conditions confronting the international community," said the company's president and chief executive, James Hogan.
"Our seat factor hit a record high but yields, particularly in the premium cabins, remain a challenge," he said in a statement.
Etihad, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government, carried 8.3 million passengers last year.
With a young fleet of 67 aircraft, it serves 84 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.
It has an order book of 100 aircraft, including 10 superjumbo Airbus A380s.
The carrier owns nearly 30 percent of airberlin, Europe's sixth largest airline, and 40 percent of Air Seychelles.