Etihad Airways A330-200. By Rob Finlayson

Etihad Airways (EY) reported third-quarter revenue of $1.1 billion, up 39% year-over-year. Passenger revenue was up 32% to $833 million and cargo revenue increased 28% to $168 million.  

Operating costs rose 12% on a 12% rise in capacity while non-fuel costs rose 7%, EY said. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier traditionally does not release actual figures for total operating costs, CASK or RASK.

“Despite the continuing challenges of high fuel prices and economic downturn in many of the markets in which Etihad operates, we are seeing strong growth in all our key commercial indicators,” CEO James Hogan said, noting that the airline had moved into monthly operating profitability.

Passengers carried rose 18% year-on-year to 2.25 million and seat load factor improved 3.8% to 80.7%. Etihad Crystal Cargo posted a 16% year-on-year growth in tonnage to 77,623 tonnes and a 10% year-on-year increase in average yields, it said.

The quarter saw a consistent strong performance across all markets, the carrier said. Popular routes were those to North America (New York, Chicago and Toronto), Asia Pacific (Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Manila, Sydney and Melbourne), Cairo, London, Dublin, Athens and Istanbul.

“Our clear target is to break even in 2011 and this is another big step in the right direction for us. We are well on track to delivering a continuing financial return to our shareholder,” Hogan said.

EY operates on a network spanning 86 airports in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and North America, using a fleet of 63 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.