Etihad Cargo, the cargo division of the UAE flag carrier, carried a record 175,000 tonnes of cargo in the first six months of 2012, a 21 per cent increase over the same period last year.
The jump represents an extra 30,000 tonnes compared to H1 2011, with revenues 13 per cent higher. Etihad Cargo operates to 87 destinations internationally.
Last week Etihad Cargo reported strong second quarter results for 2012, with tonnage up 22 per cent to 90,000 tonnes, contributing to revenues of US$183 million, up 11 per cent.
Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said: "On the back of strong passenger network growth, freighter fleet expansion and an increase in the number of cargo routes, Etihad Cargo experienced an all-time record first half of 2012.
"Cargo traffic into and out of Asia and the subcontinent remained particularly strong for us over the period, and we are pleased to have maintained a performance lead there and elsewhere at a time when many cargo carriers are cutting capacity."
June in particular was an exceptional month for Etihad Cargo, when the airline achieved eight of its ten best ever performance days for transporting cargo through its Abu Dhabi hub - on average over 2,000 tonnes per day being processed.
Four freighter destinations were added in the first half of the year, including: Benghazi, Dammam, Djibouti and Tripoli, bringing the total freighter network to 27 in 20 countries.
Mr Knight added: "H1 saw us deliver impressive results for commercial cargo, but we also coordinated humanitarian disaster relief shipments to Somalia with the international Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA), UAE Red Crescent and Shelterbox France in addition to sending vital medical supplies to Nepal as part of our membership of the UAE's Care by Air charity.
"Elsewhere, we carried an unusual shipment of Dhow sailing boats to Ireland as a part of a Volvo Ocean Race maritime cultural exchange programme.
"Despite geographical, political and economic headwinds in many challenging areas, we remain focussed on executing our strategy of continuing to grow our cargo business in the months and years ahead."
Earlier this year, Etihad Cargo announced orders for two more Airbus A330-200F freighters, bringing its total new freighter order book to four. Two Boeing B777Fs were ordered in 2011 and all new freighter deliveries are scheduled over the next two years.
Etihad Cargo currently operates a fleet of six freighters, consisting of one Airbus A300-600F, two Airbus A330-200F, one McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, one Boeing B777F and one Boeing B747-400F.