Johannesburg - Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday reported total revenues of $1.8bn for the third quarter of 2014.
This is an increase of 29% year-on-year, achieved on the back of accelerated passenger and cargo growth during the summer.
A total of 3.9 million passengers travelled with Etihad Airways between July and September this year, 30% higher than the 3 million passengers from the same period in 2013.
Etihad Cargo also outperformed the global market, carrying 144 498 tonnes of freight and mail during the third quarter, a year-on-year increase of 9%, on only 1% capacity growth.
The growth in passenger demand and revenue during the three month period once again outstripped the airline’s capacity increase, highlighting the strength of its long-term growth strategy.
Etihad Airways said it remains on track to achieve its strongest ever annual results, having carried 10.5 million passengers and almost 415 000 tonnes of cargo between January and September 2014.
“Our focus on organic growth and codeshare partnerships and minority investments in other airlines has continued to produce strong results, despite the prevalence of industry challenges such as volatile oil prices, economic and political instability, overcapacity in the market, and access constraints," said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways.
“We are confident about sustaining our profitability in 2014 and there are a number of important milestones in the final quarter, including the entry into service of Etihad Airways’ ground-breaking Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in our striking new livery."
Etihad Airways and Alitalia signed a transaction implementation agreement in August 2014, which, subject to regulatory approval, will result in a €1 758m investment to build a reinvigorated Alitalia.
This includes a €560m investment by Etihad Airways to acquire a 49% shareholding in Alitalia, a 75% interest in Alitalia’s loyalty company and five pairs of slots at London’s Heathrow Airport, which will be leased back to Alitalia on an arm’s length basis.
Etihad Airways’ investment will be complemented by a €300m investment from existing core Alitalia shareholders, up to €598m in financial restructuring of debt, and €300m of new loan facilities.