Etihad net profit triples to $42m
ABU Dhabi-based airline Etihad tripled its net profit to $42m (€31m) in 2012 as revenue rose 17pc to $4.8bn.
Releasing figures yesterday, Etihad chief executive James Hogan described 2012 as a "game-changing year" for the 10-year-old airline.
Etihad had taken "great strides" during 2012 in building what Mr Hogan said was the airline industry's first "equity alliance".
Etihad owns almost 3pc of Aer Lingus and has also taken stakes in Aer Berlin, Air Seychelles and Virgin Australia.
"No Middle East carrier has this reach," said Mr Hogan.
"By investing in other airlines we have been able to achieve scale and collectively reduce our unit cost."
Revenue from partners contributed about $620m to Etihad in 2012.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals (EBITDAR) at the airline climbed 16pc to $753m in 2012. It carried 10.3 million passengers, 23pc more than 2011.
Etihad flies 10 times a week between Dublin and Abu Dhabi and the route is the 10th most popular on the airline's global network. It has also been one of its most profitable. The route carried 215,000 passengers last year.
Last month, Etihad confirmed that it was boosting capacity on the route by 34pc from July by adding a bigger aircraft to serve six of the 10 weekly flights.
Etihad, owned by the Abu Dhabi emirate, said it had carefully managed fuel costs during the year. It also said its non-fuel costs per available seat kilometre fell by 5pc.
Mr Hogan recently told the Irish Independent that he's keen to deepen Etihad's relationship with Aer Lingus.
He said he would like to see the Irish carrier join Etihad's centre of excellence programme, where partners save money on outlays from aircraft purchases to training and technology. Etihad and Aer Lingus began operating a codeshare agreement last year.
Mr Hogan also confirmed yesterday that Etihad was in discussions to buy an equity stake in Indian carrier Jet Airways. A decision will be made in the next two weeks.