Etihad Airways reports massive decrease in passenger flights

The number of passengers served and passenger flight revenues went down for the Abu Dhabi-based airline in the second quarter of 2020.

al-monitor An airport personnel wearing a protective face mask serves a passenger behind Plexiglas at the Etihad check-in counter at Belgrade's airport on May 21, 2020. Photo by Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images.

Aug 6, 2020

Etihad Airways experienced large decreases in passenger flight revenues in the second quarter of 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Abu Dhabi-based airline is still flying regularly despite recent financial struggles resulting from the downturn in global travel.

Etihad’s passenger revenues decreased from $950 million in the first quarter all the way to $60 million in the second quarter of 2020, which corresponds to April, May and June. The number of passengers decreased from 3.43 million to just 30,000 across the quarters, according to a press release.

The airline did not report losses in every area. Cargo revenue increased from $170 million to $320 million in the second quarter, Etihad said.

Etihad has experienced financial difficulties during the coronavirus crisis and cut hundreds of jobs in May. In March, all airlines in the United Arab Emirates suspended regularly scheduled international passenger flights, leading to revenue losses. Etihad continued to offer humanitarian and repatriation flights during this time. In June, Etihad resumed normal international flights.

The Gulf carrier now flies to more than 50 destinations, which constitutes roughly half of its pre-virus network. Etihad also began operating a joint venture with the budget carrier Air Arabia in July.

Emirati airlines are trying to mitigate the virus’ spread as they fly. All travelers entering the United Arab Emirates must now show a negative COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of the flight before they are able to board. This includes passengers who are transiting.

Other Gulf airlines, including the Dubai-based Emirates, have also experienced losses and job cuts during the crisis.

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