Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE has reported a loss of $1.28 billion for the year 2018 as against a loss of $1.52 billion in the previous year.
The airline also announced an improvement in core operating performance of 15 per cent in 2018, 7 per cent higher than forecast, on revenues of $5.86 billion (2017: $6.0 billion).
Since commencing its five-year transformation programme in 2017, the airline has improved its core operating performance by 34 per cent despite challenging market conditions and effects of an increase in fuel prices.
Etihad carried 17.8 million passengers in 2018 (2017: 18.6m), with a 76.4 per cent seat factor (2017: 78.5 per cent) and a decrease in passenger capacity (Available Seat Kilometres (ASK)) of 4 per cent (from 115.0 billion to 110.3 billion).
The airline increased yields by 4 per cent, largely driven by capacity discipline, network and fleet optimisation and growing market share in premium and point-to-point markets. Passenger revenues remained steady at $5.0 billion.
Etihad Cargo recorded a strong performance for the year largely due to a lower cost base, a programme of efficiency improvements including the consolidation of the freighter fleet around the Boeing 777F, and a refreshed network focusing on core trade lanes leveraging Abu Dhabi’s geographical position to maximise freighter to belly-hold flows.
Cargo revenue for the year was $827 million (2017: $877 million) with 682,100 leg tonnes carried (2017: 853,300 tonnes). Cargo Freight Tonne Kilometres (FTK) decreased by 21 per cent (from 4.3 billion to 3.4 billion), with a 15.5 per cent increase in yields.
The airline significantly reduced total costs by $416 million to $6.9 billion (2017: $7.3 billion). Direct operating costs were reduced by $226 million (3.6 per cent) despite ongoing fuel price volatility. Administration and general expenses declined by $190 million (19 per cent), mainly driven by lower indirect manpower and other administration costs.
Tony Douglas, Group chief executive officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “In 2018, we continued to forge ahead with our transformation journey by streamlining our cost base, improving our cash-flow and strengthening our balance sheet.
“Our transformation is instilling a renewed sense of confidence in our customers, our partners and our people. As a major enabler of commerce and tourism to and from Abu Dhabi, we are intrinsically linked to the continued success of the emirate.” – TradeArabia News Service
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