Lahore, January 12, 2016 (PPI-OT): Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, delivered solid operational performance in 2015 by achieving continued growth in passenger and cargo volumes. The growth in passenger demand continued to surpass the airline’s capacity increase, underscoring the strength of its long-term growth strategy. In total, Etihad Airways carried more than 75 per cent of the total passengers who travelled to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2015. With the addition of the airline’s equity partners that operate flights into the UAE capital, the combined total rises to 84 per cent of passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “In 2015, we were able to bring new competitive choice to millions of travellers, through our award-winning services and through the growing networks of our equity partners. No airline group is doing more to stimulate new competition in the aviation industry.”
Etihad Airways introduced six additional destinations to its global route network in 2015, with new flights to Kolkata, Madrid, Edinburgh, Entebbe, Hong Kong, and Dar es Salaam, and a new direct service to Brisbane. Complementing its organic growth, the airline also expanded its code-share and equity partnerships last year. These partnerships delivered more than five million passengers onto Etihad Airways’ flights, an increase of 43 per cent over the 3.5 million passengers in 2014.
A new codeshare agreement was launched with Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), while Etihad Airways’ existing codeshares with Air Serbia, American Airlines, flynas, Jet Airways, Korean Air, NIKI and S7 Airlines were significantly expanded. As a result, Etihad Airways now offers a combined passenger and cargo network of nearly 600 destinations through its 197 interline and 49 codeshare partnerships.
In April 2015, the airline obtained regulatory approval from Switzerland’s Federal Office of Civil Aviation, FOCA, to finalise a 33.3 per cent investment in the Swiss regional carrier, Darwin Airline. In June, Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional, became the latest addition to Etihad Airways’ equity partners network, which also includes airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia. Etihad Airways’ equity partnerships represent the seventh largest global grouping of airlines, together flying more than 100 million guests.
Mr Hogan said: “We enter 2016 with confidence as a stronger, more dynamic airline that will continue to support the evolution of Abu Dhabi as a global aviation hub. We continue to face challenges, not least the protectionism of the major American and European legacy carriers. We will continue to fight to bring new competitive choice to travellers around the world.”
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