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Etihad Airways found that it witnessed a strong recovery in the level of passenger operations, coupled with a significant improvement in financial performance, noting that it is on track to return to profitability by the end of 2023, with return of travel demand. at the same levels before the Covid 19 pandemic.
And the Union added, at a distance press conference to announce its financial performance for 2021, that passenger revenue reached about $ 1.07 billion in 2021, thanks to strong performance in the fourth quarter of the same year, despite the impact negative imposed by travel. restrictions and the emergence of new corona virus mutations, the company managed to reduce operating losses to $ 476 million, compared to losses of $ 1.7 billion in 2020.
Occupancy of seats
The Etihad said it carried 3.5 million passengers last year and the seat occupancy rate was about 39.6%, and the occupant occupancy rate doubled in the second half to 70.1% in December, thanks to maximum travel demand during winter break. .
The carrier witnessed a strong increase in passenger numbers in the fourth quarter of 2021, following easing of mandatory quarantine requirements and periods in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the rate of seats available per kilometer was about 37.21 billion, and destinations reached 71 destinations for passengers and goods in 47 countries around the world. The carrier started or resumed its operations in 13 destinations in 2021.
Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad Airways has continued to strengthen its business and establish itself as a global leader in the travel sector, and we are confident that the spring and summer seasons will witness a significant boom in travel operations, with more travelers seeking to travel again.
He added, “We look forward to welcoming our guests to fly our state-of-the-art Airbus A350, which will be launched later this year, joining our fleet of Boeing 787. With one of the most efficient aircraft fuel in the world and by putting sustainability at the heart of our entire business, we will continue to pave the way for increased sustainability in the aviation sector in 2022 and beyond.
For his part, Adam Bu Qudaida, Chief Financial Officer of Etihad Airways, said that Etihad Airways was able to continue its transformation strategy to succeed in raising the level of efficiency and rationalization, and to save more costs and expenses, in connection with its strengthening. cost basis, as the record number of commodity operations contributed to further progress, it played a key role in doubling monthly operating income between january and december.
He added, “Based on the achievements achieved in January and February of this year, we are convinced that we are on the right track to achieve profitability at the end of 2023, and we also believe that at the end of the same year we will see “Demand for travel is returning to the level it was before the pandemic.”
On the impact of recent oil price increases on ticket prices, based on many calculations and methodologies, we defend based on market prices at a given point in time, thus giving ourselves and our customer base a level of protection. In line with our policies approved by the Board, we continued to do so in 2021 and 2022, so we have a comfortable positive defense policy at the moment.
Cargo operations continued to exceed all expectations, reaching an annual increase of 27% in the level of freight tonnage in 2021 to 729.2 tons, accompanied by a 49% increase in freight revenues to $ 1.73 billion, the highest number achieved by the company in its history in terms of shipping returns. Etihad Airways also continued its willingness to control costs, which contributed to lower operating costs by about $ 110 million, despite rising fuel costs to $ 197 million as a result of escalating oil prices. The company managed to maintain strong liquidity over the past year.
Etihad Airways has an extensive network of destinations that includes many major cities in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, North America and Australia, and this network witnessed balanced growth in 2021, coinciding with the resumption of flights towards destinations and return. of travel demand.
The number of passenger destinations increased by 28% last year, rising from 50 to 64 during the peak summer period, and the Etihad Airways fleet consisted of 67 aircraft, including 5 cargo aircraft, with an average age of 5.7 years. , and Boeing Dreamliner aircraft represented the backbone of the Etihad Airways fleet is preparing to launch its Airbus A350 aircraft, with the first aircraft scheduled to be launched in the second quarter of this year.
At the end of 2021, the company’s number of employees reached 12,533, and the percentage of employees who received the vaccine while working in the UAE was 95%.
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