ETIHAD Airways, a Gulf carrier suspected of unfair financing through state subsidies, has posted a 52 per cent year-on-year increase in annual profit to US$73 million, drawn on revenues of $7.6 billion, which increased 27 per cent.
The Abu Dhabi's airline's result was credited to higher passenger numbers and increased revenue from cargo. Cargo revenue increased 19 per cent to $1.11 billion.
Unlike Dubai's Emirates, Etihad has invested in other carriers and owns stakes in Air Serbia, Aer Lingus and Jet Airways among others.
This has boosted sales and savings in key markets and added to a network reaching 500 destinations, making it the largest Middle East carrier.
The airline launched services to 10 new destinations last year, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, while increasing capacity on 23 existing routes.
Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways have rejected claims by United States carriers that they received $40 billion in government subsidies, allowing them to lower prices and push competitors out of certain markets.
The airline has about 200 aircraft on order, plus options and purchase rights for a further 66. It plans to add 16 new planes to its fleet in 2015.
Source : HKSG.