Etihad Airways reported operating profit of $296 million for the first half of 2022, a record first-half result for the carrier which it attributes to an extensive, multi-year restructuring and transformation that was accelerated by the pandemic.
In a financial statement released on Thursday, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier said passenger revenue tripled in the first six months of the year, climbing to US$1.25 billion (from US$320 million in first half of 2021) as pandemic restrictions ease and more travelers return to the skies.
The airline reported that passenger numbers “increased steadily in the first six months” to a total of 4.02 million – an increase from 980,000 passengers in the first half of 2021 – with a factor of average seat load of 75%.
Cargo operations generated revenues of $802 million in the first half of 2022, representing a 6% increase over the same period last year.
Etihad chief financial officer Adam Boukadida said a “constant focus on cost containment” had helped reduce fixed overhead and financial costs, making the airline “more resilient and efficient”.
“In the first half, we were able to further reduce our fixed overhead and finance costs by $50 million compared to the first half of 2021, reduce the level of debt on our balance sheet and improve our EBITDA by more than 600 million dollars,” he said. .
“While accelerating our operations and recording a four-fold increase in passenger numbers, we have maintained tight control over our cost base. As a result, our operating costs only increased by 26% despite a 46% increase in deployed capacity,” he added.
EBITDA for the period was US$690 million.
In the first half of the year, Etihad launched five summer services, including new seasonal routes to Nice, France and the Greek island of Crete.