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Etihad Airways reports Dh526 million record profit in first quarter

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 Etihad Airways today announced its Q1 2024 results, recording a profit after tax of AED 526 million (U.S.$ 143 million), a significant improvement over Q1 2023, marking a solid start for the 2024 financial year.

Total revenue increased by AED 987 million (U.S.$ 269 million), from AED 4,752 million (U.S.$ 1,294 million) in Q1 2023 to AED 5,739 million (U.S.$ 1,563 million) in Q1 2024, reflecting an increase in network capacity and passenger numbers.

The airline carried 4.2 million passengers over the quarter, up 41 per cent year-on-year. The average passenger load factor stands at 86 per cent for Q1 2024 and remains unchanged compared to the first quarter of last year. Revenue from cargo and other sources remained broadly stable over the same period.

The airline continues to improve its operational efficiency with decreasing unit cost from the same quarter last year (CASK and CASK ex-fuel reduced by 9 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively).

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “We are pleased to report a strong start to the financial year 2024, with our first quarter earnings equivalent to our total net income for the entire financial year 2023 as we continue our margin expansion journey. We have maintained our resilience and our focus on customer service and growth while continuing to improve our commitment to efficiency.

“This significant profit increase was achieved even with the holy month of Ramadan starting in early March this year, compared to late March last year, demonstrating the adaptability of our business.

“Our plans are set to expand our network and enhance our offerings while connecting an ever-greater number of people to and via Abu Dhabi. I would like to extend my deepest thanks to all our employees whose hard work and dedication have been crucial in achieving these results.”

During this period, Etihad optimised its network by enhancing routes and increasing frequencies to key destinations. The airline also launched new flights to Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Boston, and announced additional routes to Antalya and Jaipur. The additional capacity has led to a 34 per cent increase in Etihad’s total weekly flights for the upcoming peak summer period, growing from 642 last year to 858 in 2024.

The airline has continued to play a pivotal role in supporting Abu Dhabi’s tourism sector, driving a 43 per cent increase in inbound point-to-point traffic compared to the first quarter of 2023.

In its first quarter operating from its new terminal at Zayed International Airport, the airline has seen significant improvements in customer satisfaction, driven by enhanced efficiencies across all passenger touchpoints. Upgraded lounge facilities now offer more comfort and exclusive services, enhancing the overall travel experience. Additionally, streamlined check-in processes and smoother transfers have contributed positively to customer feedback.

Announcements

Abu Dhabi bans single-use styrofoam products from June 1

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Single-use styrofoam products will be banned in Abu Dhabi from June 1, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development announced on X.

As part of the ban, Abu Dhabi is targeting avoidable, single-use consumer products. Specifically, the banned products comprise cups, lids, plates and beverage containers (including their caps and lids) made of expanded polystyrene. In addition, food container receptacles for products that are intended for immediate consumption, either on the spot or for takeaway, or containers that have a product that is typically consumed from the receptacle and is ready to be consumed without any further preparation such as cooking, boiling or heating, will also be prohibited.

Items exempt from this ban include:

-Reusable storage boxes

-Coolers

-Items intended for medical use

The initiative to ban single-use Styrofoam is an extension of the Abu Dhabi Single-Use Plastic Policy, and supports the aims of the Year of Sustainability.

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World League of Fighters announces grand launch in Bangkok: Winners to secure golden tickets to UAE’s inaugural season

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The World League of Fighters (WLF), the first-of-its-kind franchise based league-styled Muay Thai tournament, announced the grand launch ceremony for the inaugural season on June 1st at the prestigious Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. Sticking to the league’s ideology of sportainment, the mega launch event will offer the audiences mesmerising live musical performances from some of the renowned artists along with an action-packed fight night comprising of five intense bouts to mesmerise the local Muay Thai fans.

To further capture the imagination of the audiences all around the world, the launch ceremony will be held at the highly popular the New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, in Bangkok, Thailand. Currently owned and run by the Royal Thai Army, the Stadium is regarded as the symbol of modern Muay Thai, and is frequented by the fans who pack the stadium in large numbers each week to witness thrilling fights.

The grand event will be attended by Mr. Rajesh Banga, Chairman World League of Fighters, Mr. Rahul Saxena, President World League of Fighters, Mr. Sunil Mathew, Co-Founder World League of Fighters, Mr. Nilesh Pundir, Co-Founder of World League of Fighters, along with President WBC Muay Thai, Colonel Thanapol Bhakdibhumi. Mr. Samer Al Suojhayer, Co-Founder and Head of Operations WLF Asia, Mr. Kevin P. Noone, Secretary General WBC Muay Thai, and Mr. Fouad Darwish Ceo & Managing Director of Palms Sports will also be present to witness the spectacle.

To kick start the exciting Muay Thai action, USA’s Matt baker will face off against Azerbaijan’s Rauf Gerayzade in the Cruiserweight bout, while Thailand’s own Satanfah Sitsongpeenong will take on Iran’s Mohammad Sirasani in the Middleweight fight. India’s Surya Sagar will vie for a win when he takes on Lithuania’s Deividas Danyla in Welterweight match, and Russia’s Dana Begzhanova will also be in action against Spain’s Alba Morral in the Women’s Featherweight bout. The winners of the four bouts will get a Golden Ticket to the inaugural season of the World League of Fighters which will take place in Abu Dhabi later this year. The Muay Thai action will close with the Headline Contest between Kazakhstan’s Ali Kabdulla and Armenia’s Martun Mezhlumyan in a 170 Pound Catchweight contest.

To further add to the spectacle, the fans will get a chance to groove along with the biggest Thai pop sensation Kratae Rsiam, who recently opened Bruno Mars’ concert in Bangkok, and will be performing live at the launch ceremony. The renowned local musical artist Tong Twopee, who has garnered a cult-like following on social media, will also be performing live for the audience in attendance.

Speaking on the upcoming Launch event, Mr. Rajesh Banga, Chairman World League of Fighters said, “The Launch event in Bangkok is a tiny teaser of the extravaganza that we will be presenting to the world with the inaugural season of World League of Fighters. We are bringing a revolution to the world of combat sports, and we are confident our vision will resonate with the global masses. The Launch event will not only give the fans a chance to enjoy live Muay Thai fights, but also allow them to engage with live musical performances. We are grateful to WBC Muay Thai for their constant support and for the Thailand and Bangkok government authorities for allowing us to showcase our vision at the Mecca of Muay Thai – the New Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.”

WLF partnered with World Boxing Council Muay Thai last year to revolutionise the sport of Muay Thai and spread its reach across the globe. This is the first time in the Combat Sport World, a franchise-based league-style tournament is being organised featuring 20 of the world’s best male and female Muay Thai fighters. The renowned international combat sports stars will be divided into 4 franchises that will compete against each other in a round-robin format, to claim the Coveted WLF * WBC Title Belt.

President WBC Muay Thai, Colonel Thanapol Bhakdibhumi, added: “It is about time the adrenaline-pumping sport of Muay Thai gets a revamp. A league-styled competition of such magnitude is a celebration will boost the popularity of the sport and expand its reach beyond horizon. The upcoming Launch event is a moment of celebration for all Muay Thai fans, aficionados, trainers, and fighters not only in Thailand, but all around the globe, and we want to give them a show that they will never ever forget. The mingling of Muay Thai with entertainment is an unprecedented chapter in the history of combat sports and we cannot wait to present a glimpse of what is in store for the fans.”

The event is slated to take place in UAE in September.

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UAE announces 10 year Blue Residency Visa

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The UAE has announced a long-term residency for environment advocates. Called ‘Blue Residency’, the 10-year visa will be granted to individuals who have made “exceptional contributions and efforts in the field of protecting the environment”.

Applicable fields include boosting the air quality and green technology. “The sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, as he chaired a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.


Blue Residency: Who is eligible

The Blue Residency will specifically be granted to supporters of environmental action. This includes members of international organizations, international companies, members of associations and non-governmental organizations and global award winners. It also includes distinguished activists and researchers in environmental work. Those are interested in the residency are invited to submit their applications through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security, or through nominations by competent authorities.

The UAE already grants 10-year residency visas, called golden visas, to eligible investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

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