Bangkok was once again the airline’s busiest route, with a total of 742,759 passengers flying to Thailand’s capital city in 2013, a year-on-year increase of seven per cent.
Manila was the second busiest route (547,068 passengers), followed by London (544,564 passengers), Jeddah (373,651 passengers) and Paris (338,969 passengers).
The top ten busiest routes of Etihad Airways are; Bangkok, Manila, London, Jeddah, Paris, Manchester, Sydney, Frankfurt, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta
Etihad Airways carried 73 per cent of the more than 16.4 million passengers who travelled through Abu Dhabi International Airport in 2013. With the addition of the airline’s equity alliance partners that operate flights into Abu Dhabi, the combined total rises to 79 per cent of passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi airport.
James Hogan, president and chief executive officer, Etihad Airways, said, “Our record-breaking numbers in 2013 reflect the continued success of our strategic master plan, which focuses on three fundamental pillars; organic network growth, the forging of codeshare partnerships, and minority equity investments in other airlines. As the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, we also continued to support Abu Dhabi’s growth as a leading international travel hub, while facilitating trade to and from the country.”
Six destinations were introduced to Etihad Airways’ network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington DC in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana’a in September, and Ho Chi Minh in October.
Frequencies were also increased on 18 existing routes last year and new codeshare agreements were signed with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air Canada and airBaltic.
During 2013, building on its organic growth, Etihad Airways also expanded its codeshare and equity partnerships, which delivered more than 1.8 million passengers onto Etihad Airways flights, 38 per cent higher than the 1.3 million in 2012.
In addition to its four existing equity partners - airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus - Etihad Airways announced investments in three additional carriers in 2013.
In August, the airline formalised a five-year contract to manage Serbia’s national carrier, Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways), with a 49% equity stake. This was followed in November, when the airline obtained regulatory approval from the Indian government to finalise a 24% investment in Jet Airways, and announced its intention to acquire 33.3% of the Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline, which will become the first airline to operate under the new brand of Etihad Regional.
Hogan said, “This has been another game-changing year and once again, the customer was placed at the heart of everything we did. Our service enhancements in 2013, from the launch of our Flying Nanny service to the continued rollout of Wi-Fi internet and live television across our fleet, highlight a commitment to delivering best-in-class products and services. I am excited about what the future holds and look forward to working with all our partners to maximise the return for our shareholder, enable the continued growth and the evolution of Abu Dhabi as an aviation hub, and create a remarkable experience for our passengers.”