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Etihad posts 25% growth in Q1 passenger revenues

Airline also reports that passenger numbers have increased by 11%.
Etihad, NEWS, Aviation

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Etihad Airways on Wednesday reported 25.4 percent growth in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) in the first quarter of 2010, compared to the same period last year.

The improvement was matched by an increase in seat factors, from 73 percent to 75 percent, the UAE's national carrier said in a statement.

Passenger numbers increased by 11 percent and premium travel passengers also increased by five percent.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways CEO, said: “These are encouraging figures. Despite operating in the worst air transport recession in history, Etihad has continued its growth trajectory.

“Our investment in our product and in our brand has helped us to attract higher numbers of passengers in both economy and premium cabins.”

The airline said its long haul operations had made important contributions to its performance in the first quarter, with 87 percent seat factors in economy on the new Chicago route, Asia-Pacific and Australian routes at seat factors of more than 80 percent in economy and European, American and Australian routes all operating at more than two thirds full in business class.

Hogan added: “2009 was a very difficult year for the global air travel industry. The worst global recession in living memory, coupled with the H1N1 pandemic, led to a huge drop in demand for air travel.

“Airlines around the world have seen passenger numbers drop and yields have fallen significantly.

“Despite facing these same challenges, Etihad managed to increase passenger numbers and saw a large growth in our RPK figures. This was helped by the continued expansion of our route network, by the growth of our fleet by 10 aircraft and by the aggressive sales and marketing of our services.

“Most importantly, we saw seat factor and yields recover over the latter part of the year, particularly in the premium cabins, where we have invested in creating a world-beating product.”

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