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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 26/01/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Etihad Airways remained profitable in 2012 and more details about the airline's financial results would be released next month, its top official said.

Addressing the 15th Global Airfinance Conference in Dublin, the airline's president and chief executive James Hogan told more than 1,000 delegates in the Irish capital that Etihad Airways has identified a new route to global expansion, allowing it to accelerate even further its development as an airline and as a business.

The Abu Dhabi-based airline recorded 14 million maiden profit in 2011. Hogan also the conference delegates how the airline's focus on cost control and the creation of value and scale had helped drive its impressive expansion.

"This includes organic fleet and network growth, wide-ranging codeshares, and strategic equity partnerships. These all come together to create a virtuous circle of growth opportunities for the airline and its partners."

Hogan also spoke of the airline's strong financial portfolio with more than 6.5 billion in funding from more than 50 financial institutions across the world, and he gave details of how major financial market risks are managed. These include fuel, foreign currencies, interest rates and emissions.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, hailed the airline's strategy of both organic growth coupled with targeted share and stakes in other rival airlines to record profit in difficult times. "Etihads rising passenger traffic coupled with a very young fleet has ensured that it has a sound footing for the future. The airline is in the black, I see them turning over growing and healthy profits for at least a decade or more. Etihad is a beautifully-oiled machine which proves that the GCC is still a magnet for industry growth," Ahmad told Khaleej Times.

The 15th Annual Global Airfinance Conference includes delegates from world's largest airlines, leasing companies, commercial banks, export credit agencies, private equity firms, investment banks, manufacturers, law firms and other aircraft financing organisations.

Etihad Airways carried more than 215,000 passengers between Abu Dhabi and Dublin in 2012, with the route once again in the airline's top 10 most popular.


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