Etihad Cargo, the airline’s cargo arm, also grew in 2013. A 32 per cent year-on-year increase in cargo volumes saw 486,753 tonnes of freight and mail flown by the airline last year.
For total cargo imports, exports and transfers at Abu Dhabi International in 2013, Etihad accounted for 89 per cent.
Etihad stated that China, Hong Kong and India were its top cargo markets while expanding markets in the United States and the Netherlands also contributed.
“Bellyhold freight capability plays a key role when you have dedicated hub complexes set up for passengers as every small consignment or parcel is bonus additional income for relatively little handling cost,” David Bentley, Principal at UK-based Big Pond Aviation stated.
That airline stated that its volumes were boosted by enhancements to its freighter fleet capability and greater cargo in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft.
It added two B777 freighters, a leased 747-8 freighter and an Airbus A330 freighter to its fleet in 2013. Its passenger fleet expanded with four A320s, one A321, two A330-200s and six 777-300ERs.