Etihad Airways carried 1,031,837 passengers in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 176 per cent on the first quarter of 2006 when 373,333 passengers flew with the Abu Dhabi-based airline.
The Q1 performance is also a record for Etihad since it launched in 2003, with first quarter revenue increasing by 208 per cent to AED 712,047,181 from AED 230,615,170 in the same period last year.
Capacity, or what is known in the aviation industry as ‘available seat kilometres,’ has increased by 130 per cent in the past 12 months following the introduction into service of 15 new aircraft.
The airline’s seat factor increased from 54.5 per cent in the first three months of 2006 to 68.3 per cent for the same period this year.
Etihad also introduced two new destinations in the first quarter of 2007, starting flights to Kuala Lumpur on 15 January and Sydney on 26 March.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “The airline’s performance in the first three months is remarkable and the figures reflect the extraordinary levels of growth in both the network and aircraft fleet during the last three years, and more importantly the growing awareness of Etihad in key markets around the world. The performance is in line with expectations as our network and markets mature.”
“The airline has grown rapidly since inception adding some 30 destinations in as many months. As we move forward into a new phase we will bed down on what has already been achieved to ensure that this growth is commercially sustainable in the future.”
Etihad will take delivery of a further 10 aircraft in 2007 bringing its fleet size to 31 by the end of the year to meet the growth of its network which will see increases in the number of flights to existing destinations and the introduction of new services later this year to Kochi (Cochin) and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in India, Dublin in Ireland and Milan in Italy.