Bangkok has become the busiest port of call in Etihad Airways' global network.
A total of 691,000 Etihad passengers passed through the Thai capital, the highest figure in its top 10 routes and a 38% increase from 2011, airline executives said yesterday.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier flew a record number of 10.29 million people last year. Trailing closely behind Bangkok were Manila, London (Heathrow), Jeddah, Sydney, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester, Doha and Dublin.
The figure underscores Bangkok's importance to the United Arab Emirates flag carrier, which operates three daily non-stop flights between Bangkok and Abu Dhabi.
But despite Bangkok's strong performance, the airline has no immediate plans to ramp up frequencies on the route.
"The airline would consider adding more flights to this and any other routes, subject to aircraft availability and demand," Etihad chief executive James Hogan said yesterday.
Etihad last year increased its total passenger numbers by 22% from 8.41 million to 10.29 million.
Its global network now covers 87 of its own passenger and cargo destinations, plus 245 codeshare destinations.
The airline's passenger growth is mirrored by its equity partners. By the end of 2012, airberlin was expected to have carried 33.4 million passengers, Virgin Australia 19.5 million, Aer Lingus nearly 11 million and Air Seychelles 241,000.
Etihad and its partners collectively carried more than 74 million passengers in 2012, with cooperation between the five airlines greatly contributing to passenger growth.
Mr Hogan noted that last year's passenger numbers surpassed its target of 10 million.
Etihad has announced it will start flights to at least three new destinations this year _ Washington DC in March, Sao Paulo in June and Ho Chi Minh City in October.
It will take delivery of 14 new aircraft this year, comprising four A320s, one A321, six B777-300ERs, one A330 freighter and two B777 freighters.
About the author
- Writer: Boonsong Kositchotethana
Position: Deputy Editor Business