Last updated: 7 October, 2012

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad’s third quarter revenues up 19%

Abu Dhabi’s carrier, Etihad Airways, said Sunday it posted a 19 percent increase in revenues in the third quarter of 2012, but it remained tight-lipped on profit.

The government-owned airline said its revenues in the three-month period hit $1.3 billion, 19 percent up from $1.1 billion registered in the corresponding period last year.

The rise reflected a 23 percent surge in passenger numbers to 2.79 million travellers, said Etihad in a statement, adding that passenger numbers were on track to exceed the 10 million milestone this year.

Etihad, however, did not disclose its profit, saying only that it was “confident of full year profitability despite challenging global economic environment.”

Etihad in February announced for the first time since its launch in 2003 that it exceeded its target of breaking even, posting a net profit of $14 million in 2011.

Last month, Etihad’s chief James Hogan said his company was projecting $5 billion in revenues in 2012, up from $4.1 billion last year, and hoped to sustain profitability.

The carrier operates a fleet of 67 aircraft with an average age of 4.9 years, and has many on order.

It is competing with major fast-growing Gulf carriers, Emirates of Dubai and Qatar Airways, as the three airlines vie to strengthen their share of traffic between Europe, Asia and Australia.