Abu Dhabi’s Etihad posts triple profits

Updated: 02/04/2013 3:38 AM KSTP.com

(AP) ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Fast-growing Etihad Airways tripled net profits last year as it added routes and code-share arrangements in its expanding rivalries with other premium Gulf airlines, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier said Monday.

Government-owned Etihad said that 2012 net profit jumped to $42 million, compared to $14 million in 2011. Revenue rose 17 percent to $4.8 billion, while the number of passengers increased by 23 percent to 10.3 million.

"This has been a game-changing year," said Etihad CEO James Hogan.

He said cost-control measures and ongoing investments helped boost the airline’s profits during a challenging global economic environment.

Etihad began flying to six new destinations last year, including Shanghai and Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. It also has announced expanded service this year to Washington and other cities.

The nearly 10-year-old airline has aggressively sought to expand cost-share agreements and purchase stakes in foreign airlines such as airberlin and Virgin Australia. It also is in talks for a possible share in India’s Jet Airways. Etihad said that partner airlines contributed 19 percent of last year’s passenger revenue growth.

The carrier is locked in deepening competition with Gulf rivals Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates.

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