Abu Dhabi flag-carrier Etihad Airways has reported a net loss of US$1.28 billion for the year.
The figure was, however, a slight improvement on the loss of US$1.52 billion reported for 2017.
Revenues slipped from US$6 billion to US$5.86 billion last year as the carrier cut services in order to stem losses.
Etihad carried 17.8 million passengers in 2018, down from 18.6 million, with a 76.4 per cent load factor.
Since commencing its five-year transformation programme in 2017, the airline has improved its core operating performance by 34 per cent despite challenging market conditions and effects of an increase in fuel prices.
Tony Douglas, group chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, said: “In 2018, we continued to forge ahead with our transformation journey by streamlining our cost base, improving our cash-flow and strengthening our balance sheet.
“Our transformation is instilling a renewed sense of confidence in our customers, our partners and our people.
“As a major enabler of commerce and tourism to and from Abu Dhabi, we are intrinsically linked to the continued success of the emirate.”
The airline increased yields by four per cent, largely driven by capacity discipline, network and fleet optimisation and growing market share in premium and point-to-point markets.
Passenger revenues remained steady at US$5 billion.
The airline reduced total costs by US$416 million to US$6.9 billion.
Direct operating costs were reduced by US$226 million (3.6 per cent) despite ongoing fuel price volatility.
Administration and general expenses declined by US$190 million (19 per cent), mainly driven by lower indirect manpower and other administration costs.
During 2018, Etihad Airways took delivery of eight new aircraft including three Boeing 787-9s, four Boeing 787-10s and one Boeing 777-200 freighter.
The airline’s fleet count at year end was 106, with an average age of 5.7 years.
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