Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, together with US$1.4bn in total revenues during the three-month period, marking a year-on-year increase of 27%. A total of 3.2m passengers travelled with Etihad Airways during the first quarter of 2014, over 14% higher than the 2.8m passengers from the same period last year. The growth rate is more than double a recent estimate from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that passenger demand will increase 5.8% this year on a global basis. To accommodate the double-digit growth in passenger volumes, Etihad Airways’ fleet expanded to 95 aircraft in the first quarter of 2014, marking an increase of 30% in the fleet size over the same period last year, while the airline’s passenger carrying capacity, measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASK), increased by 21% year-on-year to 19.2bn. Etihad Cargo also outperformed the global market, carrying 127,821 tonnes of freight and mail in the first quarter. This marks a year-on-year increase of 26%, almost seven times higher than IATA’s prediction that the international cargo market will grow by four per cent in 2014. The airline’s cargo revenue also increased by 26% to US$243m, placing Etihad Cargo on track to become a billion dollar business in 2014.