Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said that it flew almost 14.8 million passengers in 2014, up 23 per cent over its 2013 levels.
The airline said that it carried around 74 per cent of the 19.9 million passengers who travelled through Abu Dhabi International Airport last year.
With the addition of the airline’s equity partners that operate flights into the UAE, the combined total rises to about 82 per cent of traffic at the Abu Dhabi airport.
Etihad also introduced 10 new destinations to its network in 2014 and increased frequencies on 23 existing destinations, boosting passenger figures for 2014.
“Our business model, which focuses on organic network growth, codeshare partnerships and minority equity investments in other airlines, continued to yield positive results in 2014 and surpassed our double-digit targets for passenger and cargo growth,” said James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad Airways.
The UAE flag carrier also said that its codeshare and equity partnerships helped drive growth last year.
These partnerships delivered over 3.5 million passengers onto Etihad Airways flights, an increase of 40 per cent over the 2.5 million passengers in 2013.
In addition, the airline inked new codeshare agreements with Air Europa, jetBlue, Philippine Airlines, GOL, SAS, Hong Kong Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas in 2014. Meanwhile its existing codeshares with South African Airways, Alitalia and Jet Airways were significantly expanded.
Etihad also grew its number of acquisitions in 2014 with the purchase of a 49 per cent stake in Italian national carrier Alitalia.
The deal is expected to give Etihad access to the fourth largest travel market in Europe while furthering its strategy of growing via acquisitions.
Aside from Alitalia, Etihad has stakes in Air Seychelles, airberlin, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus, Air Serbia and Jet Airways. It also has an investment in Darwin Airline that is pending approval.
Etihad Airways also reported strong cargo growth for 2014, with 568,648 tonnes of freight and mail flown in total, a 17 per cent increase year-on-year.
The Abu Dhabi airline also grew its fleet in 2014 as it took delivery of nine Airbus aircraft and six Boeing aircraft last year.