UAE national carrier Etihad Airways cargo unit has posted a record year of freight volume on its network at 486,753 tonnes of cargo during 2013, an increase of 32 per cent year on year.
The record performance reflects the carrier's increase in freighter fleet capability and increases in capacity with deliveries in 2013 of eight Airbus aircraft, including A330 freighter and eight Boeing aircraft, including two 777 freighters. It benefited from increased cargo in the bellyhold of its passenger aircraft.
The airline also added further leased capacity, which included Etihad's inaugural 747-8 freighter.
Etihad Crystal Cargo's expansion through new routes in established markets of China, Hong Kong and India has contributed to a strong performance as well as in newer markets of Netherlands and the US.
Passenger figures were robust increasing nearly 16 per cent at nearly 12 million people, up from 2012's figures of 10.3 million.
This was supported by the introduction of new destinations and new services to Washington, DC; Amsterdam; Sao Paulo; Belgrade, Serbia; Sana'a, Yemen; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan said its growth is a strong reflection of increasing frequencies on 18 existing routes and new codeshare agreements with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air Canada and airBaltic.
"Our record-breaking numbers in 2013 reflect the continued success of our strategic master plan, which focuses on three fundamental pillars: organic network growth, the forging of codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines," he said, in a report from Atlanta area Air Cargo World.
Source : HKSG.