Etihad Airways CEO Antonoaldo Neves has seemed to confirm reports suggesting the Abu Dhabi-owned carrier is considering an IPO. 

The joint-UAE flag carrier’s boss said it was aiming to improve transparency by publishing its 2023 and previously unseen 2022 profits. 

After several years of losses, Etihad reported a $143m profit in 2023 and $25m profit the previous year. 

“We are working very hard so that whenever is the proper time to do an IPO, we are going to be ready,” Neves told the Reuters news agency. 

But the decision will not be for Neves and the Etihad board to make, and its owner, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ, has not yet commented on the market speculation. 

ADQ’s history of floating its portfolio companies, and Neves’s appointment, have sparked the chatter, first reported by Bloomberg.

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The Brazilian CEO led the Azul airline through an IPO in 2017. 

Etihad’s return to profit has come from a change in attitude and direction, the CEO said. 

“We are not obsessing anymore just to do what our competition is doing and copying them,” he said.

The new plan is “Journey 2030” with its aim to triple passenger numbers and double the size of its fleet in the next six years. 

It is also moving away from ultra-long haul flights, instead looking to connect the Indian subcontinent with the Gulf, Europe, and the US East Coast. It recently added new daily routes to Kozhikode (CCJ) and Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) in India.