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Etihad Air revenue up 21.2 pct, cautious about future

Revenues up 21.2 pct to $770 million in first quarter; CEO says cautiously positive

April 20, 2011 1:35 by

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said its revenue grew by 21.2 percent to $770 million but that the proportion of customers taking up seats dipped due to regional unrest in the region and the earthquake in Japan.
Etihad’s seat factor fell slightly to 72.7 percent from 75.1 percent during the same period in 2010, the airline said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This quarter saw unrest in a number of Middle East countries, which has clearly resulted in lower traffic into those markets,” said James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive officer, adding that the earthquake in Japan also had an impact on business.
Passenger revenue rose 15 per cent on the back of a 10.6 per cent growth in passenger numbers to 1,854,392.
Hogan said the airline is cautiously positive even as fuel prices continue to rise.
“Fuel prices will be a major challenge for the airline industry this year but I am glad to report that Etihad has hedged more than 75 per cent of its fuel requirements for 2011.”
Etihad said cargo revenue grew by 44 per cent year on year.
UAE’s other airline Emirates said last month that unrest in the Middle East and northern Africa could hit revenue by 3 to 5 percent. (Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Reed Stevenson)

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