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Etihad Airways saw third quarter revenue top $1 billion for the first time as passenger numbers passed the 3 million mark.

Total revenue rose 11% in the three months to $1.4 billion, while passenger load factors reached 81%.

Passenger revenues increased by 10% to just over $1.03 billion, while cargo revenue was up by 39% to $244 million.

Revenue from codeshare and equity alliance airline partners was 36% higher at $247 million. Partnership contributions accounted for 23% of total third quarter passenger revenue, while passenger numbers rose by 11% to 3.06 million year-on-year.

President and chief executive James Hogan said the quarterly growth occurred in a climate of increasing capacity and ongoing price competition. It also compensated for reduced travel during the holy month of Ramadan, which fell across the traditional peak travel months of July and August.

He said: “In addition to our own growth in Q3, we continued to develop our partnership strategy.

“Headlining our partnership activities, we continued to work closely with regulatory authorities in India as we progressed our plans to acquire 24% of Jet Airways – the first offshore investment in an Indian airline under the country’s Foreign Direct Investment legislation.

"We signed an agreement with the government of Serbia to enter into a five-year contract to manage Serbia’s national airline, Air Serbia, currently trading as Jat Airways, and integrated its frequent flyer programme with our own Etihad Guest.

“We also increased our stake in Virgin Australia from 10.5 to 17.4%, and launched partnerships with South African Airways, Air Canada, Belavia and Korean Air, taking to 46 our number of codeshare agreements and expanding our virtual network to 375 de