Etihad Airways has reported its business results for 2021, recording a strong recovery in passenger operations along with a significant improvement in financial performance, posting a much-reduced loss of US$476 million for 2021 (2020: US$1.70 billion).
The airline carried 3.5 million passengers in 2021, with an average seat load factor of 39.6%. Passenger loads doubled in the second half of the year, reaching 70.1% in December as travel demand peaked during the winter holiday period. The airline recorded a particularly strong surge in passenger volumes in Q4 following the September relaxation of mandatory quarantine periods in Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways posted passenger revenues of US$1.07 billion in 2021, down by 14% year-on-year. While ongoing travel restrictions and new variants of the virus dampened demand, the airline saw passenger revenues bounce back in the last quarter of the year, recovering to 50% of 2019 levels in December.
Cargo operations meanwhile continued to outperform expectations, with a 27% year-on-year increase in freight carried in 2021 (729,200 tonnes) coupled with a rise in cargo revenues of 49% to US$1.73 billion, the highest figure in the history of the airline. (£1.00 = US$1.34 at time of publication)