Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:15AM - 7 Views

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(AP) Fast-growing Gulf carrier Etihad Airways says its sales increased 19 percent to $1.3 billion in the third quarter as it carried more passengers on its expanding fleet.

The airline said Sunday that a 23 percent increase in passenger numbers and contributions from partner airlines such as Air Berlin and Virgin Australia helped drive the gains during the quarter. It reported sales of $1.1 billion during the same period last year.

Etihad did not disclose how much quarterly profit it made but expressed confidence it will post its second straight annual profit this year.

Government-owned Etihad is based in the United Arab Emirates capital, Abu Dhabi. Besides rapidly growing its own fleet, it has amassed stakes in four overseas airlines to better compete against Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.

Associated Press
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