Revenues at Etihad Crystal Cargo rose 12.2 percent, year over year, in the first quarter, growing from $142 million to $159 million. Hoping to build on this momentum — which was also felt on the passenger side of Etihad’s business — the carrier recently ordered two freighters, which are due for delivery in 2013 and 2014.
Passenger numbers for the quarter grew by 50,000, and revenues jumped 25.4 percent. Etihad’s total revenue for the first quarter rose 28.5 percent to $989 million when compared to the same period in 2011.
Etihad CEO James Hogan said the carrier is looking to make better use of belly-hold capacity in its new routes to Shanghai, Chengdu and elsewhere. These new services, combined with investments in Air Seychelles and airberlin, should help Etihad achieve success amid an industry-wide slowdown in airfreight markets, he said.
New routings will be the name of the game in the next 18 months. Hogan said that the carrier is looking forward to a “significant” expansion, which will include a new service to Vietnam and flights to South America. Services to Etihad’s first South American destination will begin next year. Additional frequencies to Asia and Australia are also in the works.
“Despite the tough economic times, we believe our business model of organic network growth combined with codeshare partnerships and strategic equity investments will enable us to continue to prosper and ensure sustainable profitability,” Hogan said in a statement.
Last year, the airline made a net profit of $14 million, and Hogan thinks 2012 will be even better.
“We remain firmly focused on ensuring 2012 will be the most profitable in the airline’s history,” Hogan said. “We’ve made a good start and will now build on our success over the next nine months.”