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 airline carried 17.4 million passengers last year, a significant increase of 17 percent over 2014 levels, and operated 97,400 flights which covered 467 million kilometres. 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 percent 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 percent of passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
“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”, James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said.
“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.
Last year also saw Etihad Airways’ fleet boosted with the deployment of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which entered commercial service on routes to Washington DC, Zurich, Singapore and Brisbane. The Airbus A380 network was expanded with a second service to London Heathrow and new flights to Sydney and New York.
This year, the airline will commence its third daily A380 service to London Heathrow, and will add two new A380 destinations of Mumbai and Melbourne, while the Boeing 787 will start flying to five new cities, namely Düsseldorf, Perth, Shanghai, Istanbul and Johannesburg.
Etihad Airways increased frequencies on 16 existing routes across the world in 2015. These were Bangkok, Chennai, Dammam, Delhi, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kochi, Kozhikode, Melbourne, Mumbai, Muscat, Seychelles, Tehran and Trivandrum.
Etihad Airways also reported strong cargo volumes for 2015, with 592,090 tonnes of freight and mail flown in total, a four percent increase year-on-year. The airline accounted for 88 percent of cargo imports, exports and transfers at Abu Dhabi International Airport last year.
“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”, Mr Hogan said.
”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.”