Lahore: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, together with US$1.4 billion in total revenues during the three-month period, marking a year-on-year increase of 27 per cent.
A total of 3.2 million passengers travelled with Etihad Airways during the first quarter of 2014, over 14 per cent higher than the 2.8 million passengers from the same period last year. The growth rate is more than double a recent estimate from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that passenger demand will increase 5.8 per cent this year on a global basis.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Although the global airline industry has faced challenges such as higher-than-expected fuel prices and fierce competition in key international markets during the first quarter of 2014, we have continued to outperform the passenger and cargo markets, and raise the bar even further for Etihad Airways.”
Etihad Cargo also outperformed the global market, carrying 127,821 tons of freight and mail in the first quarter. This marks a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent, almost seven times higher than IATA’s prediction that the international cargo market will grow by four per cent in 2014. The airline’s cargo revenue also increased by 26per cent to US$243million, placing Etihad Cargo on track to become a billion dollar business in 2014.
The company’s volumes were boosted by the fast-paced growth of its international route network, with 95 destinations operational by the end of Q1 2014, an increase of six compared to the same period in 2013.
Etihad Airways also won four awards in the first quarter, including the Airline Market Leadership Award at Air Transport World magazine’s 40th Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards.