Etihad Airways trebled its net profits to $42 million in 2012 – the airline’s second consecutive year in the black.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier was boosted by a 17 per cent rise in revenue to $4.8 billion last year, compared to $4.1 billion during the previous year.
Passenger numbers also passed the 10-million mark for the first time – ending the year at 10.3 million, up 23 per cent from 8.4 million in 2011. Etihad's capacity grew by 20 per cent to 61 billion in available seat kilometres with a load factor of 78.2 per cent - up by 2.4 percentage points on the previous year.
The airline, which was launched in 2003, made its first net profit of $14 million in 2011.
Etihad’s CEO James Hogan described the last year as “game-changing” for the carrier.
“We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment,” added Hogan.
“We have taken great strides in building the industry's first 'equity alliance', with our investments in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus, which are contributing significant value to our business.”
Etihad’s partner airlines contributed 19 per cent – around $700 million – of total passenger revenue during 2012.
The airline also opened its first European call centre in Manchester last year. The facility which employs more than 190 staff handles calls from 18 markets in nine languages and brought in more than $20 million in revenue.