Etihad Airways had a record-breaking year after achieving its highest-ever cargo volumes.
Etihad flew 486,753 tonnes of freight and mail in 2013, an increase of 32 percent compared to 2012 volumes. The airline accounted for 89 percent of cargo imports, exports and transfers at Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2013.
Nearly 12 million people flew with Etihad Airways, marking an increase of nearly 16 percent 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 codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines,” James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways, said. “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.”
Six destinations were introduced to Etihad Airways’ network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington, D.C.; Amsterdam; Sao Paulo; Belgrade, Serbia; Sana’a, Yemen; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Frequencies were also increased on 18 existing routes, and new codeshare agreements were signed with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air Canada and airBaltic.
Volumes were boosted by enhancements to the freighter fleet capability and more cargo in the belly-hold of passenger aircraft. Established markets such as China, Hong Kong and India were top performers, in addition to expanding markets such as the Netherlands and the U.S.
Etihad took delivery of eight Airbus aircraft in 2013, including an A330 freighter, and eight Boeing aircraft, including two 777 freighters. The airline also added further leased capacity, which included Etihad’s inaugural 747-8 freighter.
“I am excited about what the future holds and look forward to working with all our partners to maximize the return for our shareholder, enable the continued growth and the evolution of Abu Dhabi as an aviation hub and create a remarkable experience for our passengers,” Hogan said.