Etihad on cargo high

A JUMP of 22 per cent in cargo carried by Etihad in the first quarter of 2011 is nursing the airline back to a break-even year.

The airline saw overall Q1 revenues jump by 21 per cent to US$770 million, propelled by a 44 per cent increase in the income generated by cargo.

March represented Etihad Crystal Cargo’s best-ever month in terms of revenue, number of shipments and tonnage carried.

“I am pleased to report more positive progress on our journey towards break-even and profitability [for the full year],” James Hogan, Etihad Airways chief executive officer, said. “Thanks to our robust cost controls, we are seeing a real benefit in our overall performance. This marks the first time we have delivered positive EBITDAR in Q1.”

Hogan goes on to say that fuel prices will be a major challenge for the airline industry this year, but Etihad has hedged more than 75 per cent of its fuel requirements for 2011.

In related news Etihad Crystal Cargo has launched a new premium service branded Fast-Track for customers needing guaranteed priority service.

Benefits of Fast-Track include, expedited airport-to-airport service; priority access to capacity and later booking; faster tender times; highest loading and unloading priority of all cargo products; connection time as quick as 90 minutes at Abu Dhabi hub; 24/7 real time tracking; shipment arrival notification; no weight limitations; and guaranteed to move on booked flights.

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