Etihad Sees Full-Year Profit After Third-Quarter Revenue Boost

Etihad Airways PJSC, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, expects to post a full-year profit after third-quarter revenue rose by 19 percent, helped by increased passenger numbers from partnerships with other airlines.

Revenue rose to $1.3 billion from $1.1 billion a year earlier, Etihad said in an e-mailed statement, without providing numbers for earnings. The airline said it’s on track to carry 10 million passengers this year after the average seat factor, or percentage of seats filled, rose to 81.2 percent from 80.8 percent. Passenger numbers increased 23 percent to 2.79 million during the quarter because of partnerships with other airlines, according to the statement.

“We remain confident of delivering full-year profitability based on current market conditions,” Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said in the statement. “We are particularly pleased with the contribution from our code-share and equity partners.”

Etihad competes at home with Dubai-based Emirates, the largest airline by international traffic. Emirates is building the world’s biggest fleet of Airbus SAS superjumbos to establish Dubai as a long-haul travel hub. Neighboring Doha is also competing for market share as Qatar Airways Ltd., the region’s second-largest carrier, grows its fleet with $50 billion-worth of aircraft on order.

State-owned Etihad posted its first-ever profit last year, achieving net income of $14 million. Code-share deals and partnerships rose 51 percent to $182 million, it said. Code-share arrangements allow airlines to sell tickets on flights operated by their partners.

Revenue contribution from Airberlin Group, in which Etihad holds a 29.21 percent stake, surpassed full-year estimates during the quarter, with $51 million in revenue in the year to date, according to the statement. Air Seychelles, 40 percent owned by the Abu Dhabi airline, is poised to break even this year, Etihad said.

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