Featured Image: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Etihad Airways Reports Record Q1 2024 Profit

DALLAS — Etihad Airways (EY) has taken off to a flying start in 2024. The airline announced a record-breaking profit after tax of AED 526 million (US$ 143 million) for the first quarter, a significant leap compared to the AED 59 million (US$ 16 million) achieved in Q1 2023.

This impressive financial performance is driven by a surge in passenger demand, strategic network expansion, and a focus on operational efficiency. EY witnessed a robust 41% year-on-year increase in passenger traffic during Q1 2024.

The Abu Dhabi (AUH) based carrier carried 4.2 million passengers, highlighting a strong resurgence in travel demand. This growth is reflected in a substantial 25% increase in passenger revenue, reaching AED 4.777 billion (US$ 1.3 billion) for the quarter. The significant rise in passenger numbers and revenue is the primary driver of EY’s record-breaking profitability.

Etihad Airbus A380-800. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways

Strategic Network Expansion Strengthens Reach

Etihad actively expanded its network during Q1 2024. EY launched new flights to key destinations like Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), Kozhikode (CCJ), and Boston (BOS). Upcoming routes to Antalya (AYT) and Jaipur (JAI) further demonstrate the airline's commitment to connecting a wider range of passengers and solidifying its global network.

The network expansion translates into a significant 34% increase in EY’s total weekly flights for the upcoming summer peak season (June-August). This move ensures they are well-positioned to handle the surge in travel demand.

Etihad Boeing 777-300(ER). Photo: Andrew Henderson/Airways

Operational Efficiency Delivers Cost Savings

Beyond capitalizing on passenger growth, EY prioritized operational efficiency to maximize profitability. The airline achieved a notable cost reduction, with Cost per Available Seat Kilometre (CASK) dropping by 9% and CASK excluding fuel (CASK ex-fuel) falling by 11%, compared to Q1 2023.

These reductions, along with Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) increasing by 35%, demonstrate EY’s success in optimizing its operations.

Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

Enhancing the Customer Experience

While prioritizing profitability, EY remains dedicated to delivering exceptional customer experiences. The airline's transition to the new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) has resulted in improved passenger satisfaction.

This is due to enhanced efficiency across all touchpoints, including upgraded lounge facilities offering greater comfort and exclusive services. Additionally, streamlined check-in processes and smoother transfers contribute to a more positive travel journey for passengers.

Etihad's strong Q1 2024 performance, driven by a 41% increase in passenger traffic, a 25% rise in passenger revenue (AED 4.777 billion), a 35% growth in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs), and a 9% reduction in CASK, positions the airline well for continued success in 2024.

The AUH-based carrier also expanded its operating fleet from 75 to 89 aircraft, including the addition of three new Boeing 787 Dreamliners in February 2024.