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Etihad Airways moves ahead with plans for a possible IPO

The potential listing comes amid booming demand for air travel globally, with airlines raising their profit forecast to $30.5 billion this year

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner operated by Etihad Airways prepares to take off on the runway at Barcelona-El Prat Airport in Spain. (Photo: Getty Images)

Etihad Airways is moving ahead with plans for a possible IPO, the first for a major airline in the Middle East, CEO Antonoaldo Neves said in an interview with Bloomberg.

The potential listing comes amid booming demand for air travel globally.

Airlines have raised their profit forecast to $30.5 billion this year as passenger count is expected to reach a record 5 billion, the International Air Transport Association said during its annual meeting, which wraps up in Dubai today.

Middle East carriers are faring particularly well, set to earn a net profit of $3.8 billion this year, up from $3.1 billion last year, according to the IATA.

Profit per passenger is among the highest in the world, netting $15.20 compared to the global average of $6.

Etihad, which has already recruited more than 1,000 cabin attendants this year, announced this week it is looking to add another 1,000 crew members.

The UAE flag carrier will host recruitment drives from June until the end of the year in 19 locations, including Athens, Vienna, Singapore, Cape Town, Colombo and Jaipur.

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