Etihad Airways has returned to profitability in the first six months of 2022, reporting a $296 million core operating result. The airline, known for its deep losses, continued its upward trend that started in the second half of last year. Etihad reports ‘historic’ operating profit in HY1.

The $296 million operating profit compares to a $-392 million loss in HY1 2021. EBITDA was $690 million compared to $60 million the previous year. Back then, the Abu Dhabi carrier was only slowly recovering from the pandemic, with Abu Dhabi still implementing restrictions to incoming travelers. Compared to just 980.000 passengers between January-June last year, Etihad carried 4.02 million this year. Load factors soared from 24.89 percent to 74.98 percent.

Consequently, revenues were also up: from $1.23 million to $2.29 million this HY1. Passenger revenues grew from $320 million to $1.25 billion while cargo revenues went from $760 million to $802 million. As Etihad operated more passenger flights again and fewer cargo-only services that saw it through the pandemic, freight carried was nineteen percent down on last year to 295 tonnes. The carrier doesn’t specify total expenses but says that fuel costs were up sixty percent from last year.

Etihad continues its transformation program, which includes further cost reductions. It slashed another $51 million from its fixed overhead and finance costs and reduced net debt, without disclosing by how much.  

Although the Arabian carrier grew capacity in available seat kilometers (ASK) by 46 percent to 24 billion, it did so with just seven more aircraft. It operated a modest fleet of just 71 aircraft in HY1 compared to 64 last year. This included the Airbus A350-1000, which entered service this spring.

CEO Tony Douglas is optimistic that Etihad can keep the momentum in the second half of the year, which should help it produce even better results for the full year.

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Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
In 2022, he has gone full-time freelance. Richard has been contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He is also writing for Airliner World and Aviation News. From January 2023, he will add a part-time role with Dutch website and magazine Luchtvaartnieuws. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.

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