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Etihad sees more losses for 2017 but reports positive signs of turnaround

Posted 14 June 2018 · Add Comment

The depth of Etihad Airways continuing disappointing financial performance was made clearer today with a partial disclosure of its 2017 figures.


The Abu Dhabi airline group doesn’t publish full figures but disclosed what is called a “core loss” of $1.5 billion for the year – an improvement on the $1.6 billion of 2016 and attributed the negative result on the failure of the Airberlin and Alitalia investments and the subsequent restructuring and rising fuel costs.
In comparison with 2016, there was also only a marginal growth in turnover of 1.9% from $5.9 billion to $6.1 billion. But the airline remains positive that the transition is well underway.
Group CEO Tony Douglas, said: “We made good progress in improving the quality of our revenues, streamlining our cost base, improving our cash-flow and strengthening our balance sheet.
“These are solid first steps in an ongoing journey to transform this business into one that is positioned for financially sustainable growth over the long term. It is crucial that we maintain this momentum.”

Passenger and cargo yields improved as a result of capacity discipline, changes to the network with an increased focus on point-to-point traffic, leveraging of technology, and improving market conditions.

A strong focus on efficiency delivered a 7.3% reduction in unit costs, despite the adverse impact of US$ 337 million from higher fuel prices.

The airline reduced administration and general expenses by 14%, or US$ 162 million, over 2016.

Etihad Airways carried 18.6 million passengers at a 78.5% load factor. Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) increased by 1% in 2017 reflecting a significant moderation of capacity growth, and contributing to an improvement in the quality of the airline’s revenues.

Etihad Cargo reduced capacity by 6%; however, revenues declined only marginally, down 0.8%, driven by stronger load factors and yields. Etihad Cargo carried 552,000 tonnes of cargo in 2017.

H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Our airline continues to be a key driver of Abu Dhabi’s vision to develop its tourism sector, grow commerce and strengthen links to key regional and international markets.

“This was a pivotal year in Etihad’s transformation journey. The Board, new executive leadership team and all our employees worked extremely hard to navigate the challenges we faced. We made significant progress in driving improved performance and we are on track in 2018.”

Douglas  added: “We made good progress in improving the quality of our revenues, streamlining our cost base, improving our cash-flow and strengthening our balance sheet.

“These are solid first steps in an ongoing journey to transform this business into one that is positioned for financially sustainable growth over the long term. I would like to thank our people for their hard work and dedication in 2017.

“It is crucial that we maintain this momentum, retaining talent and attracting leading professionals from around the world to work alongside our highly-skilled UAE national workforce.”

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