Published on Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways flew 34% more passengers last year than in 2007.
The airline carried more than six million people over the 12 months, with the average seat load factor up from 68% to 75%.
Average seat factors in business class rose to 63% during 2008 with flights to European destinations averaging seat factors of 73%.
Etihad, which has a fleet of 42 aircraft, flew a record 20,937 passengers in a single day on December 19.
The carrier launched six new routes in 2008 â€“ Beijing, Minsk, Almaty, Kozhikode, Chennai and Moscow â€“ as well as signing a record order of $43 billion for up to 205 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
Chief executive James Hogan said: â€œDespite the impact of the global economic downturn, Etihad performed extremely well in 2008 and we hit our target of flying more than six million passengers during the year.
â€œEtihad now has a flight network of 50 global destinations, with an average seat factor of 75%, which is an impressive achievement in just five years of operations.â€
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.