Etihad Airways reported third quarter revenues of US$1.3b up 19 per cent on last year.
Cargo revenues were also significantly ahead of last year, up six per cent to US$ 181.6m. Etihad Cargo carried 93,560 tonnes of freight in the third quarter, 18 per cent more than in the corresponding period last year.
The airline's freighter fleet of six aircraft now serves eight cargo-only destinations - Amsterdam, Benghazi, Dubai, Hahn, Hong Kong, Djibouti, Kabul and Sharjah - in addition to the wider Etihad Airways network.
Freighter services were launched to Dammam and Doha during the quarter, increased to Libya and Italy, and upgraded to Hong Kong.
Etihad launched daily services to Lagos during the third quarter, with new routes soon to open to Ahmedabad and Addis Ababa. New routes to Washington DC, Sao Paolo and Ho Chi Minh City have already been announced for 2013.
The growth of the network will be further supported by the delivery of three new aircraft in the next three months – two Airbus A320s and one three-class Boeing 777-300ER - with a further 14 due for delivery in 2013 including one Airbus A330 freighter.
Etihad bosses said fuel remained the single largest operating cost for the business and represented 37 per cent of total expenditure for the quarter. Etihad Airways has 80 per cent of its fuel hedged at price levels well below current market prices with 21 leading international financial institutions for the remainder of 2012, as part of a three-year rolling hedging program.