Etihad Airways suffered a $2.06 billion operating loss in 2015 despite receiving $1.4 billion in subsidies from its government, according to a recent analysis conducted by forensic accountants for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies.
In April 2016, Etihad announced that it earned a $103 million profit during the previous fiscal year. However, a closer review of the airline’s 2015 financial statements reveals that the airline received significant new subsidies from the government of Abu Dhabi, without which it is doubtful the airline could have funded its substantial operating losses, the Partnership said in a press release.
The $1.4 billion cash injection is the latest evidence of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) massive subsidization of its state-owned airlines, Etihad and Emirates Airways. To date, the UAE government has provided over $26 billion in government subsidies to its airlines.
“The findings from Etihad’s financials are more evidence atop what is already a mountain of proof — the Gulf carriers are massively subsidized, and do not operate as profit-minded, fair-playing businesses,” said Ed in a story published today on Forbes.com. “We’re grateful for the broad, bipartisan support we’ve received from members of Congress who agree we need to stop the trade cheating, enforce our agreements and protect American jobs.”
Etihad’s financial statements come just weeks after accountants analyzed Qatar Airways’ 2017 annual report and discovered a $703 million operating loss despite the airline’s public claim that it generated a profit of $540 million during the year. The analysis also found that Qatar Airways received almost $500 million in additional government subsidies to cover significant losses.