Etihad Airways reduced its losses in 2017 by 22 per cent to US$1.52 billion despite facing what it calls a series of challenges.

The US$432 million decrease in losses came in a year when Etihad faced rising fuel costs and the entry into administration of two of its equity partners – Alitalia and Air Berlin. The carrier also invested in a comprehensive business transformation programme.

The airline’s revenues from core operations grew 1.9 per cent to US$6.1 billion, excluding “extraordinary or one-off items”.

Following “capacity discipline” measures and changes to the network with more focus on point-to-point traffic, Etihad saw passenger and cargo yields improve, while a focus on efficiency saw unit costs fall by 7.3 per cent.

Etihad carried 18.6 million passengers in 2017, with available seat kilometres (ASKs) increasing by 1 per cent following capacity growth.

Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, chairman of the board of Etihad Aviation Group, commented: “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.”

Tony Douglas, Group CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, 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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