etihad_alexandriaEtihad Airways is celebrating a year of record-breaking success after achieving its highest ever passenger volumes in 2013.

Nearly 12 million people flew with Etihad Airways last year, marking a significant increase of nearly 16 per cent in comparison to 2012’s figure of 10.3 million.

Bangkok was once again the airline’s busiest route, with a total of 742,759 passengers flying to Thailand’s capital city in 2013, a year-on-year increase of seven per cent.

Manila was the second busiest route (547,068 passengers), followed by London (544,564 passengers), Jeddah (373,651 passengers) and Paris (338,969 passengers).

Etihad Airways carried 73 per cent of the more than 16.4 million passengers who travelled through Abu Dhabi airport in 2013. With the addition of the airline’s equity alliance partners that operate flights into Abu Dhabi, the combined total rises to 79 per cent of passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi airport.

Six destinations were introduced to Etihad Airways’ network in 2013, with new services launched to Washington DC in March, Amsterdam in May, Sao Paulo and Belgrade in June, Sana’a in September, and Ho Chi Minh City in October.

Frequencies were also increased on 18 existing routes last year and new codeshare agreements were signed with Kenya Airways, Air Serbia, South African Airways, Belavia, Korean Airlines, Air Canada and airBaltic.

During 2013, building on its organic growth, Etihad Airways also expanded its codeshare and equity partnerships, which delivered more than 1.8 million passengers onto Etihad Airways flights, 38 per cent higher than the 1.3 million in 2012

In addition to its four existing equity partners – airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus –  Etihad Airways announced investments in three additional carriers in 2013.

In August, the airline formalised a five-year contract to manage Serbia’s national carrier, Air Serbia (formerly Jat Airways), with a 49 per cent equity stake. This was followed in November, when the airline obtained regulatory approval from the Indian government to finalise a 24 per cent investment in Jet Airways, and announced its intention to acquire 33.3 per cent of the Swiss regional carrier Darwin Airline, which will become the first airline to operate under the new brand of Etihad Regional.