Etihad passenger numbers up 17% in 2011; makes first 777 biofuel flight

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Published: February 1, 2012

Etihad Airways (EY) carried 8.3 million passengers in 2011, a 17% increase on the previous year. Etihad Crystal Cargo carried 310, 000 tonnes, up 18% on 2010.

EY president and CEO James Hogan said the results “reflect our commitment to sensible, strategic expansion, which is why we launched eight new routes last year.”

In 2011, the airline introduced flights from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Bangalore, Maldives, Seychelles, Chengdu, Dusseldorf, Tripoli, Shanghai and Nairobi. It also launched freighter services into Amsterdam, Cairo, Djibouti, Kabul and Kandahar.

EY’s busiest passenger route was AUH-Bangkok with more than 500,000 passengers carried, up 17% over 2010. London followed with 479,000 passengers carried, up by 16%, Manila (446,000) and Jeddah (289,000) year-over-year.

Separately, EY made its first Boeing 777-300ER biofuel flight from Seattle, Wash. to AUH Jan. 24. The 14-hr. delivery flight was operated using a combination of traditional jet fuel and plant-based jet fuel, which is fully certified for use as commercial jet fuel, EY said. Amsterdam-based SkyNRG supplied the fuel, which is based on recycled vegetable cooking oil.

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