UAE's Etihad Airways posts biggest year-end profits yet with $62 million in net earnings

Gulf-based carrier Etihad Airways has posted its largest annual profit yet with $62 million in net earnings last year.

The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates says profits were up 48 percent and revenue rose 27 percent to $6.1 billion.

The 10-year-old Etihad is among the world's fastest growing airlines. It has aggressively expanded its fleet of aircraft and owns stakes in Air Berlin, Air Seychelles, Virgin Australia, Aer Lingus and Jet Airways.

U.S. pilots associations have criticized a new U.S. Customs preclearance facility in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, saying it only benefits Etihad.

Etihad CEO James Hogan told The Associated Press that its purchases of Boeing aircraft have helped the U.S. aviation industry and that, in the end, the customer will decide who wins and who loses.