Etihad Airways ended 2011 in the black for the first time in its eight year history, posting profits of US$14 million on the back of a 36 per cent increase in revenues to US$4.1 billion, the Abu Dhabi based carrier reported.
The results exceeded a break-even forecast for the year. In 2007, Etihad set a 2010 deadline to break even but later pushed that back due to the global financial crisis.
Etihad said it would look to build on its strategy of investing in other airlines following a US$95 million acquisition of a 29 per cent stake in Air Berlin in December. The UAE national carrier said it was eyeing a stake in Ireland’s Aer Lingus.
“In the future, we will continue to look for acquisitions where it makes sense,” CEO James Hogan said during a news conference, the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National reported.
The carrier will also continue the expansion of its own network, with plans to take delivery of more than 100 new aircraft over the next decade, including four Boeing 777s and three Airbus A320s scheduled to arrive this year.
Etihad, which launched an alliance with Virgin Australia in 2010, said it carried 8.3 million passengers in 2011, up 17 per cent.