Unlisted Etihad Airways forecasts its revenue will pass the $5 billion mark this year, its chief executive said on Sunday.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad has been on an acquisition drive, taking minority equity stakes in Virgin Australia and Aer Lingus , and raising its shareholding in Air Berlin and Air Seychelles.

"We are projecting $5 billion plus revenues this year," James Hogan, Etihad's chief executive, told an aviation conference. "Sustainable profitability is in place"

The airline, which had revenues of $4.1 billion in 2011, generated $281 million in revenues from partnerships in the first half of 2012, he said.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; Writing by Amran Abocar)