Etihad prepares to defend record-breaking profits

Etihad prepares to defend record-breaking profits

It’s all coming up Etihad, with record profits soaring through its doors.

Etihad Airways has reported a personal best of $73 million on turnover of $7.6 billion in 2014.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier recorded a 22% year-on-year rise in passengers, peaking at 14.8 million, along with a 52% increase in net profit, with revenue up almost 27% on 2013.

Etihad reported an operating profit of $1.1 billion, as it increased its fleet from 89 to 110 aircraft over the course of last year.

The figures come as Etihad handles a delicate situation, whereby leading US carriers allege that the airline has benefitted from government subsidies.

The carrier is due to respond to the allegations, presenting detailed explanations to the US government by the end of this month.

US carriers Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United have made similar charges against Dubai-based Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Etihad president and chief executive James Hogan said the airline’s focus is making its profits sustainable.

“Our fourth year of net profits at a time when we continue to invest in new routes, new aircraft, new product and new infrastructure shows we are serious about that goal,” Hogan said.

“We have continued to grow not just in size, reputation and performance but also in maturity, evolving from an airline to a diverse global aviation and tourism group.”

Etihad also stated that at the heart of its growth was its partnership strategy and minority investments in other airlines.

Etihad owns 49% of the new Alitalia, took a 49% stake in Air Serbia last year and has minority stakes in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia.

It also holds almost 5% of Aer Lingus, whose board accepted a takeover bid by British Airways’ parent IAG this week.

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