Cost containment and travel demand help Etihad return to profitability

Carlos Yudica/

Etihad has returned to profitability in the first six months of 2022 after six years of accumulating multi-billion-dollar losses. The return to profitability was made possible by the carrier’s strict cost containment as a result of its business restructuring and strong travel demand.  

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier recorded an operating profit of US$ 296 million in H1 2022, compared to US$ 392 million in the same period last year. The carrier said that this result was reached despite the sharp increase in fuel costs. 

The airline added that the “fixed overhead and finance costs decreased in H1 2022, falling by 9% (or US$ 29 million) and 13% (or US$ 22 million) respectively”. 

Etihad carried 4.02 million passengers during the first half of 2022, more than 3 million more than in H1 2021. The increased passenger traffic was attributed to eased travel restrictions in Abi Dhabi beginning February 2022. 

“Thanks to our transformation programme, Etihad is emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever,” Tony Douglas, CEO at Etihad Group, said. 

“Our transformation programme has made Etihad substantially more resilient and efficient, and we are extremely proud of our return to profitability in the first half of 2022,” Adam Boukadida, Chief Financial Officer, said. 

Etihad has been undergoing financial restructuring since 2018, with the goal to reduce debts and transform the airline’s business strategy. 

“In the first half, we managed to further reduce our fixed overhead and finance costs by US$ 50 million compared to H1 2021, reduce the level of debt on our balance sheet, and improve our EBITDA by more than US$ 600 million,” Boukadida added.


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