Etihad Airways has announced that its passenger figures have topped six million during the course of 2008.
The figure represents a 34 per cent increase in passenger numbers from 2007 for the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) national carrier, which also saw its seat factor rise to 75 percent from 68 percent.
Commenting on the figures, James Hogan, Etihad Airways’ chief executive, said that the airline performed "extremely well" in 2008 despite the effects of the global financial crisis.
"Etihad now has a flight network of 50 global destinations with an average seat factor of 75 percent, which is an impressive achievement in just five years of operations," he said.
The carrier launched six new flights last year – including services to Beijing, Chennai and Moscow – and also ordered nine new aircraft, increasing the size of its fleet to 42.
Etihad is based in Abu Dhabi and was established as the UAE’s national airline in July 2003.