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Tue, 2 August 2022

Etihad Airways Reports Record H1 Profit

(02 August 2022, 11:42 +07)  Etihad Airways has reported a record core operating profit of US$ 296 million (H1 2021: US$ 392 million loss), a remarkable result considering fuel costs have increased by almost 60% in comparison to the same period last year.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline carried 4.02 million passengers in H1 2022, over 3 million more than last year (H1 2021: 980,000), with an average seat load factor of 75%.

Passenger loads increased consistently over the first six months, rising by 21.9 percentage points as travel demand recovered.

Network capacity came in at 24 billion ASKs for H1 2022, growing by 46% compared to last year (H1 2021: 16.4 billion), as the airline connected Abu Dhabi to 71 passenger and cargo destinations across 45 countries.

Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 reg: A6-BLN. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Etihad Airways Boeing 787-9 reg: A6-BLN. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

Thanks to our transformation programme, Etihad is emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever, said Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer. As air travel came roaring back in 2022, Etihad was there to reconnect our customers with their loved ones and take them on their long-awaited vacations, carrying over 4 million passengers to and from our beautiful home of Abu Dhabi. Sustainability continued to be a priority area for Etihad as we entered our fuel-efficient A350-1000s into service and continued our industry-leading decarbonisation efforts, leading to Etihad being recently named Environmental Airline of the Year.

Etihad's passenger revenues tripled in the first six months of the year, climbing to US$ 1.25 billion (H1 2021: US$ 320 million) as more business and leisure travellers returned to the air.

Cargo operations continued to deliver exceptional results with revenues of US$ 802 million in the first half of 2022, representing an increase of 6% on the same period last year. Revenues remained strong despite the increase in passenger volumes limiting belly-hold capacity, leading to a 19% reduction in freight carried (295,020 tonnes).

As a result of a constant focus on cost containment, fixed overhead and finance costs decreased in H1 2022, falling by 9% (or US$ 29 million) and 13% (or US$ 22 million) respectively.

Etihad Guest, the airlines FFP, delivered a record of new member acquisitions in June 2022, increasing to 7.95 million members globally. Flight redemptions increased 15% in H1 2022 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019, with over 737,000 flights taken, and member engagement levels translated into record card spends across the programmes portfolio of UAE banks, supported by a new partnership with Emirates NBD.

In the first half, we managed to further reduce our fixed overhead and finance costs by US$ 50 million compared to H1 2021, reduce the level of debt on our balance sheet, and improve our EBITDA by more than US$ 600 million, said Adam Boukadida, Etihad Airways' Chief Financial Officer. While ramping up our operations and recording a four-fold increase in passenger volumes, we kept a tight hold on our cost base. As a result, our operating costs only rose by 26% despite a 46% increase in deployed capacity. Our overall operating profit of US$ 296 million is testament to the strength of our business model at Etihad and the improvements we have made to our underlying financial performance over the years.

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