Flag-carrier posts 23-percent rise in number of passengers
Abu Dhabi: Etihad Airway carried “almost” 14.8 million passengers in 2014, a 23 percent rise on the previous year, the airline said in a statement on Monday.
The airlines equity strategy, where it has bought stakes in a number of airlines from Australia to Ireland, added 3.5 million passengers onto Etihad flights, a 40 percent rise on the 2.65 million passengers in 2013.
Etihad splashed out on its equity strategy in 2014. Including a €560 million investment in Alitalia, this included Etihad taking a 49 percent stake in the Italian airline.
Etihad injected €300 million into Air Berlin, of which it holds a stake of nearly 30 percent. The airline also spent millions of euros to increase its holding in Ireland’s Aer Lingus to 4.1 percent and millions of Australian dollars to increase its stake in Virgin Australia to 22.9 percent.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline said its fleet expanded 24 percent to 110 aircraft, which included the delivery of its first Airbus A380 and Boeing 787-9 at the end of the year.
Etihad also added two Airbus A330-200s, three A321s, three A320s and one A330-200 freighter along with one Boeing 777-300ER (extended range) and a 777-200LRs (long range). Etihad also said it leased a number of aircraft in 2014.
The airlines cargo division carried 568,648 tonnes of freight and mail in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 17 percent.