Published on Thursday, October 25, 2007

Etihad on a roll with record numbers

ABU DHABI - Etihad Airways carried more than 3.3 million passengers during the first nine months of 2007, compared to 1.95 million for the same period in 2006, an increase of 70 percent.

The airline had average seat factors of 75 percent across its network of 45 destinations during the third quarter of 2007, which covers the months of July, August and September.

Year-on-year, seat factor has increased by nine percent as Etihad continues to expand its global network and add new aircraft to its fleet.

James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said, “The last quarter has been another strong one for Etihad with impressive growth in all passenger cabins. It’s particularly pleasing to see that growth is spread well across the network, with both new and established routes performing extremely well.

“The airline’s new winter schedule, which starts on October 28, will see us boost our weekly flight schedule by a further 29 percent, which should see us exceed our 4.5 million passenger target by the end of this year.”

During the third quarter of 2007, all Etihad’s cabins experienced increased seat factors with a number of key routes achieving record passenger numbers. This includes aircraft which were more than 85 percent full in economy class on the airline’s London Heathrow, Manila and Toronto services.

The new Dublin service has quickly established itself as one of the airline’s most popular, achieving an overall seat factor of 81 per cent. Sydney, launched in March, also continues to perform exceptionally well, achieving an average economy seat factor of 80 per cent this quarter.

Etihad’s business class cabin also experienced impressive growth during the third quarter of 2007 with seat factors on London Heathrow flights achieving an average of 82 per cent, Toronto gaining an average of 86 per cent, New York rising to 77 per cent and Sydney 74 per cent.

Etihad has launched eight new routes in 2007 to Sydney, Brisbane, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Milan and Dublin.

The airline will add its 45th destination to its global network on October 28 with the launch of flights to Kathmandu in Nepal. Forward bookings for November are already exceeding 65 per cent to the Nepalese capital.

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