Etihad Airways today reported a 23% growth in passenger numbers in 2014 as it pushed ahead with expanding routes through code-sharing and acquisitions. 

The Abu Dhabi government-owned airline carried 14.8 million passengers last year, it said in a statement. 

Passenger numbers from its codeshare partners grew 40% during 2014 to 3.5 million. 

"Our business model continued to yield positive results in 2014 and surpassed our double-digit targets for passenger and cargo growth," said James Hogan, president and chief executive of the airline. 

The airline's cargo business grew 17% in 2014 from 2013. It entered into seven new codeshare tie-ups and bought a 49% stake in Alitalia last year. 

The Italian carrier joins Etihad's equity partners network that includes Airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia. It also owns just under 5% of Aer Lingus. 

Etihad launched services to 10 new destinations in 2014 and increased frequencies on 23 existing routes, the company said today.