Etihad passenger numbers rise 38% in first five months of year

Etihad Airways saw passenger numbers rise by more than a third in the year to May.

The UAE airline carried 1.5 million passengers last month and achieved a load factor of 84% despite an increase in capacity as it served 68 destinations from Abu Dhabi.

The fleet has expanded by 15 aircraft to 90 over May 2023, with more to be added.  

Chief executive Antonoaldo Neves said: “We achieved a 38% year to date increase in passengers, underscoring our strong positive growth trajectory, and our year to date passenger count has reached 7.2 million, meaning we’ve already welcomed two million more passengers this year than the same period of 2023.

“This contributed to maintaining a healthy load factor of 85% against a considerable increase in capacity against the same period in 2023.

“Our rolling 12-month passenger numbers, to the end of May 2024, now stand at just over 16 million.”

He added: “Our operating fleet size has risen by 15 aircraft year-on-year to 90, helping to fuel our growth.

“In May, after intense months of activity involving teams across the airline, we brought the first of the six A321neos expected in 2024 into operation. 

“These aircraft further boost our growing network and frequencies, and deliver a 20% fuel burn and CO2 emissions advantage, underling our commitment to modern, more efficient aircraft.”

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