Last week, Etihad celebrated ten years of operations with a flyover of AbubDabi.
From one A320 flying from Abu Dhabi to Beirut, the UAE carrier has grown to be one of the world’s largest carriers.
The airline operates over 1,000 flights per week with 88 aeroplanes to 95 passenger and cargo destinations across the globe. In 2012 it carried 10.3 million passengers, up 23 per cent on 2011.
Etihad is very good at growth. Just not good at making money. In fact growth seems to come before profit. For much of its decade, the airline has generated losses. Last year, it was profitable, earning US42 million dollars. This was on revenues of US4.8 billion dollars which is a fairly low return but on par with many of its competitors.
I have flown Etihad a number of times across Europe, Middle East and USA now. I am not enraptured. While not bad, I have not really found anything to rave about them.