Etihad posts massive annual loss

US$1.87 billion loss reflects exposure to equity partners
Exposure to equity partners helped to drag Etihad Airways to a loss of US$1.87 billion for 2016, a reversal of the $103 million net profit the Abu Dhabi-based carrier it made in 2015.
Total revenue for the 2016 financial year came to $8.36 billion, down from $9 billion the previous year. Etihad carried 18.5 million passengers in 2016, up 5.1%, but passenger revenue was flat at $4.9 billion. Load factor fell by almost 1% to 78.6%.
Lower market values and phasing out some aircraft types early resulted in impairments totalling $1.9 billion. Financial exposure to partners such as Alitalia and airberlin contributed to a hit of $808 million.
Etihad owns 49% of Alitalia and 29% of airberlin. Alitalia has filed for bankruptcy, its very existence questioned by some, while airberlin posted a heavy loss earlier this year.
“A culmination of factors contributed to the disappointing results for 2016,” admitted group chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei.
The board is working on a “comprehensive strategic review aimed at driving improved performance across the group, which includes a full review of our airline equity partnership strategy,” he added.
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