Abu Dhabi Airports Company (Adac) passenger traffic increased 18.9 per cent last year, with a record 14,700,420 passengers passing through its gates.
According to the airport's 2012 performance report, published yesterday, gateway cargo traffic also rose to 567,965 tonnes, an increase of 17.9 per cent, compared to 2011.
"Last year was a record year for Abu Dhabi International Airport with December registering the highest number in passenger traffic of 1,317,680 million passengers passing through, a 14.8 per cent increase over December of 2011," said Ahmad Al Haddabi,the chief operating officer of Adac.
Last year also witnessed the signing of the construction contract for the midfield terminal building, a key milestone for the company and Abu Dhabi in delivering a state-of-the-art infrastructure that will cater to more than 30 million passengers by 2017.
"The annual double-digit growth that Abu Dhabi International Airport has been recording in the past decade is directly impacted by the aggressive expansion plans of the hub carrier, Etihad Airways, and the increase in the number of partnerships with international carriers," Mr Al Haddabi said.
The top five routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport last year were: Bangkok, London Heathrow, Doha, Manila and Sydney.
These destinations collectively generated 20 per cent of the airport's total passenger traffic.
A number of leading airline companies began new routes from Abu Dhabi last year, including Air Berlin and Air Seychelles in partnership with Etihad Airways. In December, three international carriers, Alitalia, Garuda and Hainan Airlines, started new routes through Abu Dhabi, and RAK Airways and Rotana Jet, both local carriers, offered domestic flights to and from Abu Dhabi International Airport, increasing the capital's connections with other UAE destinations.