Cargo growth pushed Etihad profits upward in 2015
Abu-Dhabi-based Etihad Airways achieved its largest ever net profit in 2015, reporting this week a 41 percent, year-over-year increase to US $103-million.
Low oil prices and strong demand for cargo, passenger and other ancillary services combined to create strong tailwinds for the carrier’s profitability last year. Cargo tonnage grew by 4 percent to 591,000 tonnes.
This growth was largely the result of the addition of bellyhold capacity, as well as new dedicated freighter routes, the airline said in a statement.
Etihad added six new widebody passenger routes in 2015 and up-gauged several other routes. Etihad’s new freighter destinations include the growing African hubs of Dakar, Nouakchott and Douala.
Etihad Cargo said it expects its 197 interline agreements to continue feeding cargo to its Abu-Dhabi hub, through which accounts for 88 percent of the carrier’s cargo throughput.
Etihad formed a new codeshare and interline agreement with Pakistan International Airlines last year and expanded existing agreements with Air Serbia, American Airlines, flynas, Jet Airways, Korean Air, NIKI and S7 Airlines.
Etihad’s fleet consists of 121 aircraft, with an additional 204 aircraft on firm order, including seventy-one 787s, twenty-five 777Xs, sixty-two A350s and ten A380s, while the airline continues to add new passenger routes with significant belly capacity.