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Etihad Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner LREtihad Airways has achieved a remarkable financial milestone, reporting an impressive AED 526 million (U.S. $143 million) profit after tax for the first quarter of 2024, a sharp rise from AED 59 million (U.S. $16 million) in Q1 2023. This exceptional surge, driven by robust passenger demand and expanded network capacity, marks a pivotal moment in the airline’s financial performance, cementing its position as a leader in the global aviation industry.

Passenger Growth and Revenue Surge

In Q1 2024, Etihad Airways carried 4.2 million passengers, an astounding 41% increase compared to last year. This passenger surge fueled the airline’s total revenue, which jumped by AED 987 million (U.S. $269 million) to AED 5,739 million (U.S. $1,563 million), a significant leap from the AED 4,752 million (U.S. $1,294 million) reported in Q1 2023. Despite Ramadan starting earlier this year, typically a slower travel period, the airline adapted seamlessly, demonstrating the resilience of its business model.

Average passenger load factors held steady at 86%, underscoring strong demand across the airline’s network, which has been optimized through strategic route enhancements and frequency increases.

Operational Efficiency and Network Expansion

The airline’s operational efficiency also saw notable improvements, with the cost per available seat kilometres (CASK) and CASK ex-fuel reduced by 9% and 11%, respectively. Enhanced route planning and a focus on strategic partnerships enabled the airline to optimize its network, launching new flights to Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Boston while unveiling plans for new routes to Antalya and Jaipur. The addition of these destinations increased Etihad’s weekly flights for the peak summer season by 34%, from 642 in 2023 to 858 in 2024.

Antonoaldo Neves, Etihad Airways CEO, expressed confidence in the airline’s future: “We are pleased to report a strong start to the financial year 2024, with our first quarter earnings equivalent to our total net income for the entire financial year 2023. This significant profit increase was achieved even with the holy month of Ramadan starting early this year, demonstrating the adaptability of our business.”

Neves emphasized the airline’s dedication to growth and efficiency, adding, “Our plans are set to expand our network and enhance our offerings while connecting an ever-greater number of people to and via Abu Dhabi. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all our employees whose hard work and dedication have been crucial in achieving these results.”

Supporting Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Sector

Etihad Airways plays a critical role in bolstering Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector. The airline achieved a 43% increase in inbound point-to-point traffic compared to the first quarter of 2023. Its commitment to connecting global travellers with the region’s vibrant tourism offerings remains unwavering.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Operating from its new terminal at Zayed International Airport, Etihad Airways has enhanced passenger satisfaction across the board. Upgraded lounge facilities, streamlined check-in processes, and smoother transfers have made the travel experience more enjoyable, with customer feedback reflecting these positive changes.

First Quarter Highlights

  • Revenue Growth: Passenger revenue climbed by AED 966 million (U.S. $263 million), a 25% year-on-year increase, while cargo revenue remained stable.
  • Cost Reduction: Operational efficiency improved with CASK and CASK ex-fuel down 9% and 11%, respectively.
  • Profit After Tax: The profit after tax reached AED 526 million (U.S. $143 million), up from AED 59 million (U.S. $16 million) in Q1 2023.
  • Capacity Growth: Available Seat Kilometres (ASK) and passenger numbers grew by 35% and 41% respectively.
  • Fleet Expansion: The airline’s fleet expanded from 75 to 89 aircraft, adding three new 787s in February 2024.

Etihad Airways’ first-quarter solid results underscore its strategic vision and operational discipline, which have positioned the airline for continued growth and profitability throughout 2024. Leveraging its expanding network and customer-centric approach, Etihad is poised to reinforce its leadership in the competitive global aviation landscape.




Written by: Charmaine Lu