Airplanes and results. Etihad Airways reduces losses in 2017
18.6 million passengers transported and 552,000 tons in the cargo business
Etihad Airways improved its core operating performance by 22% in 2017, despite facing challenges including significant fuel cost increases, the entry into administration of its equity partners Alitalia and airberlin, and initial investment in a comprehensive business transformation programme.
The airline increased revenues from core operations by 1.9% to US$ 6.1 billion (2016: US$ 5.9 billion), while reducing losses in the core operations by US$ 432 million to US$ 1.52 billion (2016: loss of US$ 1.95 billion). Results published for 2017 are for core airline operations and exclude any extraordinary or one-off items; 2016 figures have been restated to show a like-for-like comparison.
Passenger and cargo yields improved as a result of capacity discipline, changes to the network with an increased focus on point-to-point traffic, leveraging of technology, and improving market conditions.
A strong focus on efficiency delivered a 7.3% reduction in unit costs, despite the adverse impact of US$ 337 million from higher fuel prices.
The carrier reduced administration and general expenses by 14%, or US$ 162 million, over 2016.
Etihad Airways carried 18.6 million passengers at a 78.5% load factor. Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) increased by 1% in 2017 reflecting a significant moderation of capacity growth, and contributing to an improvement in the quality of the airline’s revenues.
Etihad Cargo reduced capacity by 6%; however, revenues declined only marginally, down 0.8%, driven by stronger load factors and yields. Etihad Cargo carried 552,000 tonnes of cargo in 2017.
2017 Operational Highlights
Etihad Airways received twelve new aircraft in 2017, including two A-380 airplanes, nine B-787/9 Dreamliners, and an A-330F. These aircraft replaced 16 older A-340, A-330, A-319 passenger and A-330F cargo aircraft, which exited operations, thereby reducing the average fleet age to just six years.
In 2017, the airline announced that it will cease operating to Dallas/Fort Worth, Entebbe, Jaipur, San Francisco, Tehran, and Venice. A new route between Abu Dhabi and Baku was launched in March 2018 and services to Barcelona will start on 21 November 2018.
The global route network was further improved with the introduction of the A-380 on one of Etihad Airways’ two daily services to Paris-"Charles de Gaulle", and the B-787/9 Dreamliner on services to Amsterdam, Athens, Amman, Madrid, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Nagoya, and Melbourne.
Etihad Airways recorded network punctuality of 82% for flight departures and 86% for arrivals in 2017. OTP (on time performance) for departures at the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub was 79%, and 89% for arrivals.
Since its inception, the carrier has placed a strong focus on developing young Emirati talent into world-class aviation professionals, and by the end of 2017 employed 2,729 Emirati staff, representing 11% of the total Etihad Aviation Group workforce.
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