x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Eid, school season lift Abu Dhabi airport passenger traffic

Abu Dhabi International Airport recorded a significant uplift in passenger traffic in August as a result of the Eid holiday and back to school season.

A luxurious VIP terminal is to open at Abu Dhabi International Airport at the end of the year. Silvia Razgova / The National
A luxurious VIP terminal is to open at Abu Dhabi International Airport at the end of the year. Silvia Razgova / The National

Abu Dhabi International Airport recorded a significant rise in passenger traffic last month as a result of the Eid holiday and back to school season.

More than 1.5 million people passed through the hub, a rise of 18.5 per cent compared with August 2012, according to figures released yesterday.

The airport recorded more than 11,600 aircraft movements in the month, representing a 15.5 per cent increase, while cargo traffic was up 29.9 per cent at 60,235 tonnes.

The top five destinations were Bangkok, London, Doha, Manila and Bahrain.

“The robust growth in August was primarily due to the busy Eid holiday and the beginning of the back to school season,” said Ahmad Al Haddabi, the chief operations officer at Abu Dhabi Airports.

“As passenger traffic continues to grow, Abu Dhabi International Airport will ensure optimal use of resources to cater to expected travel peaks and continue to deliver exceptional service on par with leading airports worldwide.”

The airport is currently rolling out a programme to allow it to accommodate more than 17 million passengers a year.

The latest phase in the project, the new arrivals hall, opened last month.

Travellers are now able to access parking, taxis and limousines via a new tunnel connecting the customs area with the arrivals hall.

The news of the rise in Abu Dhabi’s passenger traffic comes after last week’s announcement that Dubai has maintained its climb towards becoming the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, with a 23.8 per cent increase in August.

A record 6 million people passed through the hub in August, helped by travel during the holy month ofRamadan.

However, it was not all good news.

Cargo volume in Dubai fell 3.1 per cent from a year earlier in August to 184,877 tonnes, but rose 8.1 per cent to 1.59 million tonnes in the first eight months. Globally cargo revenues are expected to reach US$59 billion this year, a decline of $8bn on 2012, according to Iata.

Dubai International is expected to replace London’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport by 2015.

gduncan@thenational.ae