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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

UK trails India as most popular destination from Abu Dhabi International

Six million passengers travelled through the airport in the third quarter

Six million passengers travelled through Abu Dhabi International Airport in the third quarter of 2018. Alamy 
Six million passengers travelled through Abu Dhabi International Airport in the third quarter of 2018. Alamy 

Six million travellers came through Abu Dhabi International Airport in the third quarter of 2018, with India the most popular source country, trailed by the United Kingdom, according to a Department of Transport report.

Routes from India counted a million passengers (16 per cent of the airport's total number), and the UK tallied less than half of that with 450,000 passengers (7.5 per cent of the total). Australia was the third-ranked market of origin with 350,000 passengers, while Saudi Arabia and Pakistan came in fourth and fifth, respectively. From Saudi Arabia, 345,000 passengers (6 per cent) used Abu Dhabi Airport and 300,000 passengers (5 per cent) were from Pakistan.

The Air Freight Sector transported 140,000 tonnes of different goods with 740 trips between Abu Dhabi and international destinations.

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Abu Dhabi International is one of the fastest-growing airports in the region as tourism becomes a priority sector to diversify the economy from oil income. The number of hotel guests staying in the capital rose by 10.5 per cent in August compared to the same period last year, according to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this month, Etihad Airways announced it would be the first airline in the Middle East to reconfigure some of its fleet to offer premium economy - a ticket class that provides more legroom in coach.

The reconfigured fleet will increase revenues from higher price yield per seat – especially on higher capacity A380s that need more passengers to turn a profit.

Airlines are facing headwinds with a strong dollar and rise in oil prices. Emirates, that is due to announce earnings this week, said both factors will hit its first-half profits.

Despite the challenges, the airline carried more passengers and cargo during the first-half period ending September 30.