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Etihad reports 6 pct rise in 2016 passengers

Abu Dhabi-based airline had said in December it was cutting jobs, mostly through 'natural attrition'

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Etihad Airways carried 18.5 million passengers in 2016, up six percent on the previous year, the Abu Dhabi-based airline said on Wednesday.

Etihad last month announced that it was conducting a “company-wide strategic review” and plans for Group President and Chief Executive James Hogan to step down in the second half of 2017.

“2016 saw sustained growth in a very tough business environment,” Hogan said in a statement.

The rapid expansion of Gulf carriers over the past few years has slowed. Etihad said in December it was cutting jobs, mostly through “natural attrition”. It has not said how many jobs would be affected.