First-half revenue up 28% at Etihad

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Etihad Airways boosted revenue 28% in the year's first half, to $3.2 billion, as passenger numbers rose 22% to 6.7 million.

Capacity was increased 19% in the period.

The Abu Dhabi carrier's freight arm Etihad Cargo added 27% to revenue, amid growth of a quarter in tonnage, and "remains on track to become a billion-dollar business in 2014" having "outperformed the global market", says the airline.

Passenger numbers and tonnage each rose 25% in the second quarter.

"We have ambitious plans to build on this momentum in the second half of 2014, with five more destinations being introduced into our global network, and our ground-breaking Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 also entering service, which will reinforce our status as a global market leader," says Etihad chief executive James Hogan.

At 30 June, Etihad flew to 98 destinations, six more than at the same point in 2013, with Jaipur, Los Angeles and Zurich having joined the network in the second quarter of this year. The destinations total is to expand to 103 by year-end with the addition of Dallas, Perth, Phuket, Rome and Yerevan.

Etihad estimates that its codeshare and equity-alliance partnerships delivered 1.4 passengers onto its flight in the first half, a figure up 28%, and that they contributed revenue of $471 million: 23% of total passenger revenue.

In the second quarter, Etihad struck a new codeshare deal with Brazilian carrier Gol, and expanded arrangements with Air Berlin, Air France, Air Serbia, Jet Airways and South African Airways.

After seven aircraft deliveries in the second quarter, Etihad's fleet had reached 102 aircraft by 30 June, up from 79 a year previously. An additional six aircraft will be handed over to the carrier in the second half.

Ethad's workforce grew 28% between 30 June 2013 and the same point this year, to surpass 20,000.

No indications on profitability are given in Etihad's statement on its first-half performance.