DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Etihad Airways on Wednesday announced profits of $103 million in 2015 off total revenues of $9.02 billion, marking a fifth year in the black on its strategy of partnering with other carriers.
The Abu Dhabi-owned carrier, which is the United Arab Emirates’ national airline, said its continued profitability showed the value of its approach of taking minority equity stakes and codeshares outside of traditional airline alliances.
In 2014, Etihad had a profit of $73 million and revenues of $7.6 billion. The airline said it carried 17.6 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 18.9 percent from the year before, while increasing its fleet count to 121 aircraft.
“Our profitability clearly demonstrates the success of our business strategy, based on organic growth boosted by our partnerships,” James Hogan, Etihad Airways president and CEO, said in a statement.
Etihad has codeshare agreements with 49 airlines and holds stakes in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways, Air Serbia, Alitalia and Virgin Australia. Its agreement with Air Berlin, Germany’s second-biggest airline, has been contested by the German government. An appeals court in January allowed Etihad to continue most of its disputed codeshare flights for the rest of its winter schedule.
That dispute is part of a larger conflict pitting Gulf airlines like Etihad against long-established carriers in the West, who allege they receive unfair subsidies. Gulf airlines repeatedly have denied the allegation, though the fight has grown increasingly bitter as American carriers demand the U.S. Congress take action.
The UAE is also home to the Dubai-based long-haul carrier Emirates, which is also targeted in the U.S. lobbying campaign along with Qatar Airways.
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