Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airways has surpassed its target of carrying 10 million passengers in 2012 compared to 8.41 million passengers in 2011, marking a 22 per cent increase.
“Etihad Airways has achieved significant expansion in 2012. We have launched flights to six new destinations during the last year — Tripoli, Shanghai, Nairobi, Basra, Lagos, and Ahmedabad — which have all contributed to the 22 per cent increase in passenger numbers,” James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, based on year to date figures, Etihad Airways will have carried 73 per cent of all passengers at Abu Dhabi airport, a 5.3 per cent increase on 2011’s figure of 67.7 per cent, according to data by Abu Dhabi Airports Company. And with the addition of Etihad Airways’ equity partners that operate flights into Abu Dhabi, the combined passenger number total for 2012 rose to 76 per cent.
The further addition of the carrier’s codeshare partners that operate into Abu Dhabi, the total percentage of all passenger traffic through Abu Dhabi increased to 81 per cent.
Etihad Airways further said that the increase in passenger numbers represents an extra 1.88 million passengers travelling on the carrier’s global network that now covers 87 of its own passenger and cargo destinations, and 245 codeshare destinations. And its equity partners will have collectively carried more than 74 million passengers in 2012.
By the end of 2012, Airberlin is expected to have carried 33.4 million passengers, Virgin Australia 19.5 million passengers, Aer Lingus nearly 11 million passengers, and Air Seychelles 241,000 passengers, Etihad said in a statement.
In 2012, Etihad Cargo, meanwhile, contributed 87 per cent of tonnage into, out of and via Abu Dhabi hub, the company said, adding that the total handled hub tonnage by the end of 2012 will be more than 640,000 tonnes.
Bangkok, the busiest route
Bangkok emerged as Etihad Airways’ busiest route in the year with the airline carrying nearly 691,000 passengers to the Thai capital during the year, marking a 38 per cent increase on 2011.
This was closely followed by Manila, Heathrow and Jeddah. Sydney, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester, Doha and Dublin complete the list of the 10 most popular routes.
During 2012, Etihad Airways beat its previous record for the number of passengers carried in a single day with 33,766 passengers flying on Saturday, July 14. The airline took delivery of seven new aircraft in 2012, three Airbus A320s and four Boeing B777s.
With the addition of Etihad Airways’ equity partners that operate flights into Abu Dhabi, the combined passenger number total for 2012 rises to 76 per cent.
With the scheduled launch of three new global routes in 2013, including Washington DC in March, Sao Paulo in June, and Ho Chi Minh City in October, Etihad Airways said it is due to receive 14 new aircraft in the year — four A320 passenger aircraft, one A321 passenger aircraft, and one A330 freighter from Airbus; two B777 freighters, and six B777-300ER passenger aircraft from Boeing.