Etihad has attributed a surge in passenger numbers and revenue during the second quarter of 2012 to the partnerships it has established with other airlines around the world, including Virgin Australia.
Compared to the same period last year, Etihad carried 2.55 million passengers, a 34 per cent increase, which helped drive total revenue up by 31 per cent to US$1.25bn (A$1.21bn). Seat factor increased by 4.6 percentage points to 77.6 per cent.
“These results are an endorsement of our strategy, which has seen us widen and deepen our partnerships in addition to continued focus on our organic growth plan,” said the airline’s president and CEO James Hogan.
“In a quarter when many airlines have seen demand softening, we have been able to add more passengers than ever before, with growth outstripping our capacity increases.”
During the quarter, the relationship between Etihad and Virgin Australia deepened significantly, with the Abu Dhabi based carrier taking a 4.99 per cent stake in Virgin’s domestic operations. Virgin also began wet-leasing a Boeing 777-300ER to Etihad to operate a weekly Abu Dhabi-Kuala Lumpur return service during what was previously a long layover in Abu Dhabi.