Etihad Airways carried more than 1.9 million passengers in the first six months of 2007, compared to 900,000 for the same period in 2006, an increase of 111 per cent.
The airline experienced average seat factors of 65 per cent for the January to June period. The year-on-year seat factor increase of 20 per cent is a result of Etihad’s continued expansion of its global flight network and the addition of five new aircraft to its fleet.
Etihad’s revenue per available seat kilometre, where airlines measure their commercial efficiency, soared by 31 per cent.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said: “The growth achieved in the first half of 2007 demonstrates the impact Etihad is having within the highly competitive airline industry and to carry a million more passengers this year, compared with the same period in 2006, is a phenomenal achievement.
“It is also important to acknowledge the support and close cooperation Etihad enjoys with Abu Dhabi Airport Services, Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Company (GAMCO) and the Department of Transport which has helped Etihad to achieve this impressive growth.”
Many of Etihad’s routes have achieved record passenger numbers in economy class. This includes aircraft which were 87 per cent full on the Toronto service, 92 per cent full on the Manila service and 74 per cent full on the Damascus service.
Etihad’s business class has also seen impressive figures in the first six months of 2007 with seat factor on its London Heathrow flight achieving an average of 76 per cent and Bangkok achieving 72 per cent.
Following its launch in March, Etihad’s Sydney service has performed exceptionally well achieving a 68 per cent seat factor in economy, 85 per cent in business and 78 per cent in first class. More than 40,000 passengers have flown on the Abu Dhabi-Sydney sector.
Etihad’s flights to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi in Kerala have posted figures of more than 75 per cent seat factor since they started at the end of May.
New destinations from Abu Dhabi to Milan, Brisbane, Singapore and Kathmandu will join Etihad’s expanding flight network in the next few months.