x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Abu Dhabi airport on target to exceed last year’s traffic

The number of passengers at Abu Dhabi airport in September grew over the same period last year.

Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed 1.36 million passengers on the month in September. Silvia Rázgová / The National
Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed 1.36 million passengers on the month in September. Silvia Rázgová / The National

Passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport rose 10.1 per cent in September.

The airport recorded 1.36 million passengers on the month, compared with 1.24 million in September 2012.

So far this year the airport has handled 12.2 million passengers, 99,414 aircraft and 511,679 tonnes of cargo – all of which represent double-digit growth over the first nine months of last year. The nine-month gains are, respectively, 12 per cent, 11.5 per cent and 23.8 per cent.

At this rate, the airport looks set to exceed its performance of last year. In 2012, the airport hosted 14.7 million passengers and 121,638 aircraft.

For 2011, the figures were 12.3 million passengers and 114,785 aircraft.

Bangkok, London, Doha, Manila and Sydney were the markets driving the latest passenger figures at the airport.

But it is cargo that could well continue to set the pace for the airport’s growth. Last month Etihad Cargo and Singapore Airlines Cargo struck a deal that will allow Etihad to use space on SIA’s cargo service to London’s Heathrow, with SIA permitted to use space on Etihad’s cargo service to Frankfurt.

Abu Dhabi airport is expanding to be able to handle 17 million passengers a year.

“Efforts to attract new airline partners and new routes, alongside strategic investments in infrastructure, will enable Abu Dhabi International Airport to further accommodate the increase in passenger traffic while providing them with a wider choice for efficient travel solutions,” said Ahmad Al Haddabi, the chief operations officer at Abu Dhabi Airports.

In the neighbouring emirate, Dubai International Airport handled 5.4 million passengers in September, a 13 per cent rise over the same month last year.

Year-to-date it has handled 49.3 million passengers, up 16 per cent. Traffic from western Europe was the key driver for Dubai’s passenger numbers.

ssahoo@thenational.ae