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Etihad Aviation Group unveiled Airline posts third consecutive year of profit, up 48%

 ABU DHABI, March 4: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, today announced the next step in its long-term business strategy, with the creation of the Etihad Aviation Group, a new structure marking the transition from a single entity airline to a wider global aviation group. The new Etihad Aviation Group structure, headed by James Hogan as Group President and Chief Executive Officer, distinguishes the functions relating purely to Etihad Airways and those required to interface with and support the growth and success of its subsidiaries, joint venture companies and equity partners. 

Group President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said: “Ten years ago we started life as a small regional carrier, but with global ambitions. Since then we have grown to become one of the world’s leading passenger and cargo airlines, and have expanded and diversified our operations outside the core airline business laying the foundations to become one of the leading aviation and travel groups in the world. 
 “It is important that this exciting new approach and philosophy is reflected in the way we organise ourselves. The new Etihad Aviation Group structure reflects this diversification and is a natural development to deliver continued and sustainable success for Etihad Airways and its partners.”
A new position of Chief Operating Officer Etihad Airways has been created to oversee theday-to-day running of the core airline. Recruitment for this position is ongoing and the successful candidate will oversee the major areas of Marketing, Sales, Operations, Technical, Cargo, Flight Operations, Guest Services, Guest Experience, and Safety and Quality. 
In addition to the core airline, the Etihad Aviation Group also includes a division to coordinate and manage Etihad’s investment in its equity airline partners, and a new role of Chief Operating Officer Equity Partners will be created within the new structure to ensure an ongoing interface between the airline and its equity partners.
The position will be responsible for leading the identification and realisation of synergy benefits across the equity alliance, as well as having direct responsibility for Air Seychelles and Air Serbiain which Etihad Airways has a management responsibility. Recruitment for this position is ongoing.
A key element in the new structure is the establishment of theHala Group, led by Chief Operating Officer Hala Group, Peter Baumgartner, formerly Chief Commercial Officer Etihad Airways.The Hala Group has been formed reco gnising the airline’s commercial opportunities which have grown beyond air travel across a variety of travel and hospitality businesses. 
The Hala Group will bring businesses together to drive commercial value for Etihad Airways, for Abu Dhabi and for the airline’s equity alliance partners. It combines travel management provided by Hala Travel Management, destination management services of Hala Abu Dhabi, the internationally expanding wholesale and tour operating business, Etihad Holidays, and other major start-up initiatives such as a new global loyalty company. 
Functions providing support to the wider Etihad Aviation Group will continue to be led by James Rigney as Group Chief Financial Officer, Ray Gammell as Group Chief People and Performance Officer, and Kevin Knight as Group Chief Strategy and Planning Officer. There will also be a new position of Group Chief Technology Officer for which recruitment is also ongoing.
Mr Hogan added: “These are very exciting developments for our business and the strong team we have created in our new structure will greatly enhance and improve the way we work in harmony with our partner airlines and subsidiaries. 
“It will ensure that we work more closely than ever before to maximise the tremendous opportunities and deliver a sustainably profitable future for Etihad Airways and wider Etihad Aviation Group members, while ensuring we meet ambitious targets relating to revenue, cost, and synergy benefits.”
Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, today announced record financial results for 2013, with net profit up 48 per cent to $62 million on revenues up 27 per cent to $6.1 billion.
The record performance also saw earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) up 22per cent to $208 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals (EBITDAR) up 30 per cent to $979 million, a margin of 16 per cent of total revenues.
This marked the third successive year of net profitability, in the airline’s tenth year of operation.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said:
“This is another important step forward in our journey as a growing, commercially successful business.  We have hit every financial target for each of the last seven years, bringing sustainable profitability to a business which has grown from just $300 million in revenues in 2005 to more than $6 billion today.
“We have delivered that through our unique strategy, which has seen us combine industry-leading organic growth with wide-ranging partnerships and minority equity investments in strategically important carriers around the world.
“This journey has seen us evolve from a highly successful airline into a growing aviation and travel group, with the infrastructure and strategy to develop even further in our second decade.
“We are particularly pleased to deliver a return for our shareholder, while also playing a major role in the development of trade and tourism within the emirate of Abu Dhabi.”
Revenue increased by 27 per cent to $6.1 billion (2012: $4.8 billion), on passenger numbers up12 per cent 11.5 million (10.3 million).
Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) — measuring passenger journeys — increased by 16 per cent to 55.5 billion (47.7 billion), while Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) — representing capacity — grew by 17 per cent to 71.1 billion (61 billion).
These figures reflected strong growth in passenger traffic volumes, in a year when Etihad Airways added six new destinations — Washington DC, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Belgrade, Ho Chi Minh City and Sana’a — and increased capacity on 18 existing routes. At year’s end, the average network-wide seat load factor was 78 per cent, unchanged from 2012.
The airline has announced nine new destinations for 2014 — the US cities of Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth, the European gateways of Rome and Zurich, Jaipur in India, Perth in Western Australia, Phuket in Thailand, Medina in Saudi Arabia and Yerevan in Armenia.  
A key driver of Etihad Airways’growth in 2013 was its partnership strategy, based on wide-ranging codeshares and its unique approach of minority equity investments in strategically important airlines. This has accelerated network growth, giving it the largest route network of any Middle Eastern carrier, reaching almost 400 destinations; boosted sales and marketing opportunities in key markets around the world; and allowed significant business synergies and cost savings.
This strategy delivered revenues of $820 million in 2013, up 30 per cent ($629 million), and represented 21 per cent of total passenger revenues for Etihad Airways.

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