Etihad Airways has enjoyed its busiest month ever with more than 616,000 passengers flying onboard the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s flights during July, a nine per cent increase on passenger numbers for July 2008.
The highlight of the month was Friday 31 July when a record 21,640 passengers, with a load factor of 90.3 per cent, flew with Etihad making it the airline’s busiest day in its five year history. The last week of July saw an average of more than 20,500 passengers fly aboard its planes each day.
The month of July saw Etihad’s 900 weekly flights – a 20 per cent increase on the number of weekly flights operated in July 2008 – fly at an average of 88 per cent full across first, business and economy cabins.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “The record-breaking passenger numbers we have experienced in July demonstrate that, despite the current economic challenges, Etihad continues to attract high volumes of traffic across all three cabins on our global network of more than 50 destinations.
“Whilst we expected July to be busy we are delighted to have beaten our previous records, especially during the final week of the month when we carried more than 20,500 passengers each day. We now look forward to building upon this for the remainder of the summer holiday period and into the Holy Month of Ramadan.”
Etihad’s flights to the Asia – Pacific region and also North America turned in particularly strong performances during July with seat factors averaging more than 86 per cent. Within Europe, loads exceeded 82 per cent and in the Middle East region it was 77 per cent.
Etihad introduced three new destinations in June – Larnaca in Cyprus, the Greek capital of Athens and Istanbul, Turkey’s commercial capital – which all made an impact in July’s successful passenger numbers.
Etihad also continues to expand its flight network and will launch non-stop flights from its Abu Dhabi base to Chicago in September as well as the South African city of Cape Town.
In addition to the record passenger numbers, Etihad also enjoyed its best July for on-time performance at Abu Dhabi airport with 90 per cent of flights departing within 15 minutes of the scheduled time.
This represents an improvement of five percentage points on the same period in 2008, despite a 21 per cent increase in the airline’s flying schedule.
With high passenger numbers set to continue into August with the Holy Month of Ramadan also expected to begin, Etihad is advising customers to book their travel soon to avoid unnecessary disappointment.
The travel tips offered by Etihad, via travel agents, advertising and on its website, include asking customers to prepare for all stages of the journey: at home, at the airport and when transferring. The aim is simple, to ensure flights take off on time and passengers reach their destination with the minimum of fuss.
Etihad also advises customers to use the online check-in on its website which is available 24 hours before the flight departs. In doing this customers can have a greater and better choice of seats as well as saving time at the airport.