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ETIHAD TO REPORT PROFITABLE EBITDAR FOR 2010, MARKING ANOTHER IMPORTANT MILESTONE ON PATH TO FULL PROFITABILITY

Etihad Airways will report profitable earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, amortisation and rentals (EBITDAR) for 2010, said Chief Executive Officer James Hogan, marking an important step forward in the airline’s journey towards full break-even in 2011 and profitability in 2012.

Mr Hogan was speaking at a financial road-show event in London, attended by more than 170 representatives of banks and other financial institutions.  At the road-show, part of the airline’s regular interactions with the international financial community, Etihad laid out its business strategy for the future, as well as its commercial performance since it was established only seven years ago.

Despite heavy investment in new routes, fleet and infrastructure, the airline will reach full break-even by 2011, leading to full profitability from 2012.

EBITDAR is a standard measure of operational profitability in the airline industry.  The 2010 result will be the first time the airline has reported profitable EBITDAR.

Speaking at the road-show event, Mr Hogan said, “With only a month to go, we are well on track for profitable EBITDAR for 2010, marking an important milestone in the commercial development of the airline.

“Our next goal is full break-even in 2011, leading to sustainable profitability from 2012 onwards.  All our indicators show that these tagets are in our sights.

“The growth of Abu Dhabi as a global destination is playing a critical role in our development.  The Government’s investment in tourism infrastructure, in hotels and attractions, and in the business environment is really paying dividends.

“Etihad is an airline with ambitious plans for the future.  But all of those plans are grounded in solid commercial foundations.  Our shareholder expects a return and we will deliver that return.”

Etihad’s financial road-shows are part of the airline’s commercial fund-raising program, largely in support of its aircraft financing.  The majority of the financing for the airline’s fleet is raised on the commercial markets and Etihad regularly updates the financial community on the performance of the business.

Mr Hogan said, “There has been recent interest in the issue of export credit guarantees but for Etihad, this has always been only a small element of our aircraft financing strategy.  The large majority of our financing comes from commercial agreements and it is important for international institutions to understand the performance of the business.”