Etihad Airways net profits surged by more than half in 2014 to $73 million, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier said Thursday, buoyed by increased passenger numbers and further expansion into the European market.
Revenue for the fast-growing carrier rose 26.7 percent to $7.6 billion, with net profits increasing 52.1 percent from $48 million in 2013, Etihad said in a statement.
The airline said it carried 14.8 million passengers in 2014, up 22.3 percent from the year before, when it transported 12.1 million passengers.
The company agreed in June last year to acquire 49 percent of Italy's debt-laden Alitalia, widening its reach into the European market.
Launched in 2003, Etihad is expanding rapidly and has bought minor shares in several smaller carriers around the world.
These include 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 percent of Virgin Australia and three percent of Irish carrier Aer Lingus.
Etihad also has a 24-percent stake in India's Jet Airways and a 49-percent share in Air Serbia.
Along with Dubai's Emirates and Qatar Airways, Etihad has been widening Gulf carriers' share of transcontinental travel, turning their home cities into hubs for global air transport.
European and north American legacy carriers have complained about the fast expansion of Gulf airlines, accusing them of receiving government subsidies.