Etihad passes 10m passenger mark in 2012

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Fast-growing Middle East carrier Etihad Airways has passed its 10 million passenger target for this year in carrying 10.29 million in 2012.

It marks a 22% increase on the 8.41 million passengers the airline carried in 2011. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier says its busiest route was to Bangkok, on which it carried nearly 691,000 passsengers - an increase of more than a third.

Etihad also points to increases in traffic at the various airlines it has equity stakes in. It says Etihad Airways and its equity partners will have collectively carried more than 74 million passengers in 2012 and that co-operation between the five airlines greatly contributed to passenger growth.

"An example of the success of this co-operation is the 300,000 passengers Air Berlin and Etihad Airways have delivered onto each other's networks during the last 12 months," the airline says.

Etihad launched new flights to Tripoli, Shanghai, Nairobi, Basra, Lagos and Ahmedabad during 2012.