Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways recorded an 11 per cent increase in passenger traffic in the first half of 2010, bringing traveller numbers to almost 3.3 million.

The airline also recorded a 21.6 per cent growth in cargo traffic during the same period. Etihad announced the increase in traffic during the Farnborough Airshow in the UK where the carrier received its first Airbus A330 aircraft.

The plane will begin operations for Etihad’s cargo business Etihad Crystal Cargo in September.

The A330 aircraft can carry up to 64 metric tonnes of cargo and can fly up to 7,400 kilometres non-stop. Using this aircraft will also allow Etihad Crystal Cargo to a presence in the rapidly growing freight markets of Europe and China.

On the passenger side, Etihad also says it will start flights to Seoul in South Korea in December 2010. Etihad will also start flights to Alexandria in July once it has received approval from the Egyptian government (MEED 1:7:10).