Abu Dhabi, Jan 7 IANS | 12 months ago

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), last year achieved record-breaking success by carrying its highest ever passenger and cargo volumes.


Nearly 12 million people flew with Etihad Airways last year, marking a significant increase of nearly 16 per cent in comparison to 2012's figure of 10.3 million.

"Our record-breaking numbers in 2013 reflect the continued success of our strategic master plan, which focuses on three fundamental pillars: organic network growth, the forging of code-share partnerships, and minority equity investments in other airlines," James Hogan, president and chief executive officer of Etihad Airways, was quoted Tuesday as saying.

"As the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, we also continued to support Abu Dhabi's growth as a leading international travel hub, while facilitating trade to and from the country," he added.

Bangkok was once again the airline's busiest route, with a total of 742,759 passengers flying to Thailand's capital city in 2013, a year-on-year increase of seven per cent.

Manila became the second busiest route (547,068 passengers), followed by London (544,564 passengers), Jeddah (373,651 passengers) and Paris (338,969 passengers).

Six destinations were introduced to Etihad's network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington DC in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana'a in Yemen in September, and Ho Chi Minh City in October.

Frequencies were also increased on 18 existing routes last year and new code-share agreements were signed with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia (Belarus), Korean Airlines, Air Canada and airBaltic.

Last year, Etihad Airways took delivery of eight Airbus aircraft and eight Boeings and added further leased capacity which included the airline's inaugural 747-8 freighter. Its fleet now comprises 89 aircraft, with an average age of only 5.2 years.

"This has been another game-changing year and once again, the customer was placed at the heart of everything we did, Hogan said.

"Our service enhancements in 2013, from the launch of our Flying Nanny service to the continued rollout of wi-fi internet and live television across our fleet, highlight a commitment to delivering best-in-class products and services."

(Posted on 07-01-2014)