Etihad Cargo posts 49% revenue growth in 2021

Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Abu Dhabi, UAE – Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, posted a record revenue growth of 49 percent in 2021, continuing to outperform expectations with a 27 percent year-on-year increase in freight carried, contributing towards 55 percent of the Group’s revenue, the company announced.

“2021 was a milestone year for Etihad Cargo,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales & Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group. “The Etihad Cargo team has worked closer than ever with partners and customers to address their demands and allocate necessary capacity, resulting in a record tonnage of 729,200 tons – the highest since 2017.”

In Q1, Etihad Cargo temporarily modified five Boeing 777 aircraft to support cabin-loaded cargo, operating more than 800 charter and scheduled cargo flights in the new configuration in 2021, adding capacity along key strategic routes. By mid-2021, Etihad Cargo had announced the recovery of more than 90 percent of its network compared to pre-COVID.

In total, the carrier operated more than 6,000 passenger freighters throughout the year, with freighter utilization averaging 16.5 hours.

Premium products have also seen remarkable growth: PharmaLife, the carrier’s award-winning pharmaceutical shipment solution, achieved an 85% increase in revenue in 2020, while FreshForward, for transporting perishables, increased by 26 percent. With the relaxation of travel restrictions, SkyStable, the carrier’s dedicated equine transportation solution, grew by 28 percent, and SafeGuard, for transporting valuables, increased by 103 percent compared to 2020.

Over the past year, Etihad Cargo continued to facilitate critical COVID-19 vaccine distribution which contributes to 30 per cent of its pharmaceutical shipments. Jointly with its partners at the HOPE Consortium, over 250 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been handled to over 40 countries.

In addition, several initiatives have been launched to facilitate the distribution and to position Abu Dhabi as a pharmaceutical and live science hub including establishing the first pharmaceutical distribution corridor between Abu Dhabi and Belgium. The corridor will facilitate the quick delivery of vaccines and meet future life science needs. The carrier is also working in tandem with UNICEF to transport aid globally following the signing of a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the UN agency’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.