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Etihad expects cargo to be 'billion-dollar business' in 2014

By Staff Reports on March 3, 2014

Etihad Airways announced Monday record financial results for 2013, with net profit up 48 percent to US$62 million (45 million euros) on revenues up 27 percent to US$6.1 billion (4.4 billion euros).

Etihad’s cargo revenues increased by 30 percent year over year to US$928 million (674.3 million euros) on volumes up 32 percent from 367,837 to 486,753 tonnes.

“This shows what focused business strategy can deliver,” James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, said. “We have identified cargo as a major growth opportunity for Etihad Airways and its partners, and this will be a billion-dollar business in 2014.”

Meanwhile, passenger numbers were up 12 percent compared to 2012.

In 2013, Etihad Airways made investments in its long-term business infrastructure, diversifying its activities.

In January, it acquired three subsidiaries of Abu Dhabi Airports Company – Abu Dhabi Cargo Company, Abu Dhabi In-Flight Catering and the ground handling business, Abu Dhabi Airport Services. From this investment, Etihad Airways created a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Etihad Airport Services, which now operates ground handling and cargo not only to support its own services, but those of other airlines at the Abu Dhabi hub.

This has transferred more than 4,000 new employees to Etihad Airways.

In 2013, the airline received 16 passenger jets and three new freighters – two Boeing 777-200Fs and one Airbus A330-200F. Etihad Cargo also wet-leased a Boeing 747-400ERF from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and a Boeing 747-8F from Atlas Air to replace two older aircraft.

“Against a difficult economic and geopolitical environment, and fierce competition in key markets including the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, the 2013 results mark an outstanding performance,” Hogan said. “The global market remains challenging in 2014, but the macroeconomic picture is improving in key economies around the world.”