Volumes at Etihad Cargo fell to 552,000 tonnes in 2017 as capacity was cut, while the airline as a whole reduced losses to $1.5 billion.
Cargo fell from 596,000 tonnes in 2016 with capacity being reduced by six per cent, while revenue only decreased by 0.8 per cent to $900 million thanks to stronger load factors and yields.
Total revenue increased by 1.9 per cent to $6.1 billion while losses were reduced by $432 million from $1.95 billion in 2016 down to $1.52 billion in 2017.
Etihad says its core operating performance improved by 22 per cent in 2017 despite facing challenges from significant fuel cost increases, entry into administration of its equity partners Alitalia and airberlin, and initial investment in a comprehensive business transformation programme.
Unit costs were reduced by 7.3 per cent despite the adverse impact of $337 million from higher fuel costs, while administration and general expenses were down 14 per cent to $162 million.
Etihad Aviation Group chairman of the board, H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei says: “This was a pivotal year in Etihad’s transformation journey. The Board, new executive leadership team and all our employees worked extremely hard to navigate the challenges we faced. We made significant progress in driving improved performance and we are on track in 2018.”
In 2017, Etihad received 12 new aircraft consisting of two Airbus A380s, nine Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and an Airbus A330 Freighter, replacing 16 older Airbus A340s, A330s, Airbus A319 and A330 Freighters, reducing the average fleet age to just six years.
The airline announced it would cease operating to Dallas Fort Worth, Entebbe, Jaipur, San Francisco, Tehran and Venice, with a new route to Baku starting in March 2018 and flights to Barcelona coming on 21 November this year.