Johannesburg — ETIHAD Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, reported a significant increase in the number of passengers that flew with the company in the past year.
According to the company, about 12 million people flew with Etihad Airways last year, an increase of nearly 16 per cent in comparison to 2012's figure of 10.3 million.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: "Our record-breaking numbers in 2013 reflect the continued success of our strategic master plan, which focuses on three fundamental pillars; organic network growth, the forging of codeshare partnerships, and minority equity investments in other airlines."
Six destinations were introduced to Etihad Airways' network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington DC in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana'a in September, and Ho Chi Minh City in October.
Frequencies were also increased on 18 existing routes last year and new codeshare agreements were signed with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air Canada and AirBaltic.
During 2013, building on its organic growth, Etihad Airways also expanded its codeshare and equity partnerships, which delivered more than 1.8 million passengers onto Etihad Airways flights, 38 per cent higher than the 1.3 million in 2012.
In addition to its four existing equity partners - AirBerlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus - Etihad Airways announced investments in three additional carriers in 2013.
The company reported cargo growth, with 486,753 tonnes of freight and mail flown by Etihad Airways last year, a staggering increase of 32 per cent compared to 2012 volumes.