etihad-logo-blackEtihad Airways has surpassed its target of carrying 10 million passengers in 2012 and is set to achieve a 22 per cent increase on the total of 8.41 million passengers for 2011.

The increase in passenger numbers – up to a total of 10.29 million – represents an extra 1.88 million passengers travelling on the carrier’s global network that now covers 87 of its own passenger and cargo destinations, and 245 codeshare destinations.

The passenger growth for Etihad Airways is mirrored by its equity partners. By the end of 2012, airberlin is expected to have carried 33.4 million passengers, Virgin Australia 19.5 million passengers*, Aer Lingus nearly 11 million passengers, and Air Seychelles 241,000 passengers.

Etihad Airways and its equity partners will have collectively carried more than 74 million passengers in 2012, with cooperation between the five airlines greatly contributing to passenger growth.

An example of the success of this cooperation is the 300,000 passengers airberlin and Etihad Airways have delivered onto each other’s networks during the last 12 months.

Based on year to date figures, Etihad Airways will have carried 73 per cent of all passengers at Abu Dhabi airport, a 5.3 per cent increase on 2011’s figure of 67.7 per cent.

With the addition of Etihad Airways’ equity partners that operate flights into Abu Dhabi, the combined passenger number total for 2012 rises to 76 per cent.

Etihad Airways’ busiest route was Bangkok with the airline carrying nearly 691,000 passengers to the Thai capital during the year, a 38 per cent increase on 2011.

This was closely followed by Manila, Heathrow and Jeddah . Sydney, Paris , Frankfurt, Manchester , Doha and Dublin complete the list of the 10 most popular routes.