Etihad Airways published its financial and operational results for the first half of 2022, including a record-breaking core operating profit of US$ 296 million (H1 2021: loss of US$ 392 million). This outcome was accomplished despite fuel costs increased by nearly 60% over the same period last year.
Etihad carried 4.02 million passengers in H1 2022, up more than 3 million from the previous year (H1 2021: 980,000), with an average seat load factor of 75%. Over the first six months, passenger loads regularly grew, increasing by 21.9 percentage points as travel demand recovered. Passenger loads increased significantly in February as Abu Dhabi lifted pandemic-related restrictions.
The airline’s network capacity for H1 2022 was 24 billion ASKs, up 46 percent from the previous year (H1 2021: 16.4 billion), as it connected Abu Dhabi to 71 passenger and cargo destinations in 45 countries. Etihad launched five summer services in the year’s first half, including new seasonal routes to Heraklion on the Greek island of Crete and Nice, France.
Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Douglas stated: “Etihad is emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever, thanks to our transformation initiative, with a world-class fleet, an unrivalled client proposition, and sustainability woven into every fibre of our business.”
When air travel resumed in 2022, Etihad was there to reconnect our customers with their loved ones and take them on their long-awaited vacations, transporting over 4 million passengers to and from our lovely home of Abu Dhabi.
“Sustainability remained a focus for Etihad as we entered service with our fuel-efficient A350-1000s and continued our industry-leading decarbonisation efforts, earning Etihad the title of Environmental Airline of the Year.
This year, Etihad Guest achieved record results as we continued to drive member engagement and launched Conscious Choices, the world’s first green loyalty programme that rewards frequent flyers for making sustainable choices in the air and on the ground “r results would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the entire Etihad family, and our focus now is on maintaining this momentum into the second half of the year.”
Etihad Airways passenger revenue more than quadrupled in the first six months of the year, reaching US$ 1.25 billion (H1 2021: US$ 320 million) as more business and leisure travellers returned to the skies. More countries within Etihad’s network relaxed Covid-related travel restrictions, which helped this.
Cargo operations delivered remarkable achievements in the first half of 2022, with revenues of US$ 802 million, a 6% rise over the same period last year. Despite increased passenger volumes limiting belly-hold capacity, revenues remained strong, resulting in a 19% decrease in freight carried (295,020 tonnes).
Fixed overhead and finance costs fell by 9 percent (or US$ 29 million) and 13 percent (or US$ 22 million) in H1 2022, respectively, as a result of a continual focus on cost savings.
Etihad Guest, the airline’s award-winning loyalty programme, attracted a record number of new members in June 2022, expanding to 7.95 million members worldwide. Flight redemptions grew 15% in H1 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, with over 737,000 flights taken and high levels of member engagement translated into record card spend across the program’s network of UAE banks, aided by a new relationship with Emirates NBD.
“Our transformation initiative has made Etihad significantly more robust and efficient, and we are tremendously proud of our return to profitability in the first half of 2022,” said Adam Boukadida, Chief Financial Officer.
We were able to lower our fixed overhead and financing costs by US$ 50 million in the first half of 2021, reduce the level of debt on our balance sheet, and improve our EBITDA by more than US$ 600 million.”
We kept our costs under control even as we expanded our operations and saw a fourfold increase in passenger volume. As a result, despite a 46 percent increase in deployment, our operational costs increased by just 26 percent “Educational capacity.” Our overall operating profit of US$ 296 million demonstrates the robustness of Etihad’s business model and the gains we have made to our underlying financial performance over the years.”