• Joe Breitfeller

Etihad Airways Announces 55 Percent Cumulative Improvement since 2017 as Transformation Continues

Etihad Airways announced Thursday a 32 percent year-over-year improvement in core operating performance. The carrier reported $6.5 billion in revenues, an 11 percent reduction in direct operating costs and the best on-time performance in the region.


Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Courtesy Etihad Airways

Yesterday (March 5, 2020), Etihad Airways announced that their transformation remains on track with a 55 percent cumulative improvement in core results since 2017. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier posted 2019 revenues of $5.6 billion and an 11 percent reduction in direct operating costs. Last year, Etihad carried 17.5 million guests, 635,000 tons of cargo and delivered the best on-time performance in the region. The carrier’s losses also declined from 1.28 billion in 2018 to 0.87 billion in 2019. Load factors increased 2.3% to 78.7% on a 6% reduction in available seat kilometers (ASK), while yields increased 1% on fleet optimization and capacity discipline. While route profitability improved, passenger revenues declined by $200 million year-over-year on capacity reduction. In Thursday’s announcement, Etihad Aviation Group’s Chief Executive Tony Douglas said,


“Operating costs were reduced significantly last year, and both yields and load factors were increased despite passenger revenues being down due to network optimization. An improvement to the cost base significantly offset the cost pressures faced by the business, giving us headroom to invest in the guest experience, technology and innovation, and our major sustainability initiatives. There’s still some way to go but the progress made in 2019, and cumulatively since 2017, has installed in us a renewed vigor and determination to push ahead and implement the changes needed to continue this positive trajectory.”


In 2019, Etihad continued their fleet renewal and optimization plan, taking delivery of state-of-the-art fuel-efficient aircraft including eight Boeing 787-9 and three Boeing 797-10 Dreamliners, while retiring Airbus A330s from their mainline fleet. At the close of the year, the carrier had a young fleet of 95 passenger aircraft and six freighters with an average age of 5.3 years. Last December, Etihad entered an agreement with Seattle-based Altavair and investment firm KKR for the sale of their Airbus A330 fleet and sale and leaseback of their in-service Boeing 777-300ERs. Speaking further on Thursday’s financial report, Mr. Douglas added,


“At only 16 years of age, we’re immensely proud of our people and our progress as a young and agile industry leader, which continues to challenge the accepted norms across all areas of our business. The major improvement in 2019 clearly demonstrates that we’re on the right track. As part of our transformation program, we’ve made some tough decisions to ensure we grow as a sustainable global aviation enterprise and brand, and a worthy representative of the great emirate of Abu Dhabi, to which Etihad is intrinsically linked.”


At the end of 2019, Etihad’s global network served 76 destinations and frequencies were increased on key routes such as London-Heathrow, Riyadh, Delhi, Mumbai and Moscow-Domodedovo. Additionally, the Airbus A380 was introduced on the Abu Dhabi-Seoul route and Boeing 787 Dreamliners were deployed on routes to Hong Kong, Dublin, Lagos, Chengdu, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Milan, Rome, Riyadh, Manchester, Shanghai, Beijing and Nagoya. The Etihad Aviation Group employs a diverse and multicultural workforce of over 20,000 team members from more than 150 countries.



Source: Etihad Airways