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Etihad enjoys successful year, passenger numbers soar

Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways

Chief of Abu Dhabi-based carrier says 2013 has been a “game changer”.

January 7, 2014 5:39 by

Etihad Airways reveals it has enjoyed “record-breaking” success in 2013 by carrying its highest passenger and cargo volumes to date.

Nearly 12 million people flew with Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national airline, last year, marking a significant increase of approximately 16 per cent in comparison with 2012’s figure of 10.3 million.

Flights to Bangkok were, once again, the airline’s busiest route, with a total of 742,759 passengers heading 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).

The Abu Dhabi-based airline carried 73 per cent of 16.4 million-plus passengers who travelled through Abu Dhabi Airport in 2013 and with the addition of its equity alliance partners that operate flights into the capital, the combined total rises to 79 per cent of all passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi Airport.

“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,” says James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways.

Six destinations were introduced to Etihad’s network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington D.C. in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana’a 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.

In 2013, Etihad Airways also expanded its code-share and equity partnerships, which delivered more than 1.8 million passengers onto its flights, 38 per cent higher than the 1.3 million recorded in 2012.

Etihad Airways took delivery of eight Airbus aircraft and eight Boeings last year and added further leased capacity that included its 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, customers were placed at the heart of everything we did. Our service enhancements in 2013, from the launch of our Flying Nanny service to the continued roll out of WiFi internet and live television across our fleet, highlight a commitment to delivering best-in-class products and services,” Hogan concludes.

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