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Etihad Cargo registers record cargo results in 2021 – Air Cargo News

Etihad Airways registered record cargo results last year as the airline ramps up its participation in the industry.

The carrier saw cargo revenues last year increase by 49% year on year to $1.7bn – more than half its total revenues of $3.1bn – while volumes increased by 26.8% to 729,000 tonnes.

Revenues would also have been boosted by the higher airfreight rates experienced in the market last year.

Adam Boukadida, chief financial officer, said: “Our record cargo operations have provided much-needed uplift, helping to more than double monthly operating revenue between January and December.”

The carrier, which operates five B777 freighters, also temporarily modified five Boeing B777 aircraft to support cabin loaded cargo, operating over 800 charter and scheduled cargo flights in the new configuration in 2021.

Etihad saw pharmaceutical shipments increase by 85% year-on-year in 2021 as it was the first carrier in the Middle East to be awarded IATA’s CEIV certification for pharmaceutical logistics and launched the first fully compliant origin-to-destination pharma air corridor, between Abu Dhabi and Brussels.

It also was also a founding member of the Hope Consortium, which has to date handled more than 250m Covid-19 vaccine doses to over 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and South America.

In a recent interview with Air Cargo News, Martin Drew, senior vice president global sales and cargo, said the carrier also benefitted from growing e-commerce demand and modal shift due to congestion in ocean shipping.

Although not a long-term development, Drew expects a continued shift from sea to air this year as the industry continues to recover.

In terms of the supply and demand outlook for 2022, “it will be a year of volatility and capacity constraints – another high pace year, part of the trilogy that started in 2020”, said Drew.

The airline is also looking to ramp up its participation in cargo – earlier this year it ordered seven A350 freighters from Airbus.

The overall airline reported a core operating loss to $476m, although this is an improvement on the $1.7bn loss of a year earlier and marked a continued step towards profitability.

Etihad to buy A350F bundle

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