Etihad Airways has trebled its profits, making $40 million in 2012 while many airlines recorded losses.
The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates says a 17 per cent rise in revenue to $US4.8 billion ($4.6 billion) saw its profits rise 200 per cent to $US42 million ($40 million) last year.
The airline says its bottom line received a strong boost from its partnerships and codeshares, which contributed more than $US600 million in revenue.
Etihad holds a 9 per cent shareholding in Virgin Australia, along with 40 per cent ownership of Air Seychelles, around 29 per cent of airberlin and 3 per cent of Aer Lingus.
The airline's chief executive, James Hogan, says taking out equity stakes in some of its partner airlines has been a profitable move.
"We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment," he noted in the profit report.
"We have taken great strides in building the industry's first equity alliance, with our investments in airberlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus, which are contributing significant value to our business." UAE's flag carrier says it cracked the 10 million passenger mark for the first time last year, with its fleet of 70 aircraft carrying 10.3 million travellers.
It is planning further expansion, with more than $US6.8 billion in total loans to fund its growth, including 14 new aircraft this year.
The company also says its profit result was also boosted by a 5 per cent reduction in non-fuel costs relative to its capacity.