The carrier's total revenues rose by 3.4 per cent last year to $6.1 billion, yet core airline loss hit $1.52 billion in 2017.
The airline noted that it had managed to improve performance in spite of 'significant' fuel cost increases, the entry into administration of partners Alitalia and airberlin, and initial investment in a comprehensive business transformation programme, reported London's Air Cargo News.
'A strong focus on efficiency delivered a 7.3 per cent reduction in unit costs despite the adverse impact of $337 million from higher fuel prices,' the Abu Dhabi airline was quoted as saying.
It also reduced administration and general expenses by 14 per cent, or $162 million, over 2016.
Etihad Cargo reduced capacity by six per cent, however, revenues only decreased by 0.8 per cent thanks to stronger load factors and yields.
Commenting on last year's performance, Etihad Aviation Group chief executive officer Tony Douglas said: 'We made good progress in improving the quality of our revenues, streamlining our cost base, improving our cash-flow and strengthening our balance sheet.
'These are solid first steps in an ongoing journey to transform this business into one that is positioned for financially sustainable growth over the long term.'
Etihad Airways took delivery of 12 new aircraft in 2017, including two Airbus A380s, nine Boeing 787-9 dreamliners and an Airbus A330 freighters. These aircraft replaced 16 older Airbus A340, A330, A319 passenger and A330F cargo aircraft, which exited operations, thereby lowering the average age of its fleet to six years.