Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has welcomed the return to profitability of its equity partner, airberlin.
The German carrier today announced earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of EUR 70.2 million in 2012, an increase of more than EUR 300 million over the previous year, with a net profit of EUR 6.8 million.
airberlin posted group revenues of EUR 4.31 billion, with a load factor increase of 1.6 points to 79.8 per cent. The airline said revenues were boosted by its alliance with Etihad Airways, which delivered more than 219,000 passengers onto its network, accounting for more than EUR 50 million in additional revenues.
In addition, airberlin’s ‘Shape & Size’ efficiency program generated savings last year of EUR 250 million.
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways announced on 19 December 2011 that it was lifting its stake in airberlin to 29.21 per cent and since then the equity partners have implemented a number key initiatives to boost revenues, enhance efficiencies and reduce costs.
The results, covering the first full year of the alliance with Etihad Airways, mark airberlin’s return to profitability for the first time since 2007.
James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is welcome news and a clear indication that our partnership with airberlin is delivering tangible results.
“When we announced our equity investment, we made our ambitions clear. We aimed to support airberlin in its drive to become profitable and to build an alliance that would benefit both airlines and the millions of passengers who fly with us every year.”
Mr Hogan added: “Our strategic partnership with airberlin is a long term alliance. e look forward to maximising further the potential in areas such as our joint procurement strategies, shared infrastructure and maintenance, and pilot training programs.”
The codesharing of Etihad Airways and airberlin flights has brought a combined total of 239 destinations in 77 countries to both airlines.