Abu Dhabi air passenger traffic up 18.9% in 2012

Operator says airport welcomed 14.7m passengers; December sets new monthly record
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 15 Feb 2013 01:56 PM

Passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport rose nearly 19 percent in 2012, according to latest data released by its operator.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) said the airport greeted 14.7 million passengers last year, a record number, and 18.9 percent higher than 2011.

December saw 1.31 million passengers using Abu Dhabi International Airport, the busiest month on record.

Cargo traffic also increased, recording 567,965 tonnes, and representing an increase of 17.9 percent compared to the previous year, ADAC said in a statement.

The significant increase of passenger, aircraft and cargo volumes are part of the overall growth that the airport is experiencing, it added.

ADAC said its on-going investment towards improving the airport's facilities had attracted new airlines and encouraged existing airlines to expand their services to Abu Dhabi.

December alone saw three international carriers - Alitalia, Garuda and Hainan Airlines - start new routes through Abu Dhabi, and last year also saw RAK Airways and Rotana Jet launch services.

Ahmad Al Haddabi, chief operating officer of ADAC, said: "2012 was a record year for Abu Dhabi International Airport with December registering 1,317,680 million passengers passing through, a 14.8 percent increase over December of last year, and marking the busiest month on record.

"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."

He forecast that 2013 will be another record year for the UAE capital's airport.

The top five routes from Abu Dhabi International Airport during 2012 were Bangkok, London Heathrow, Doha, Manila and Sydney.

These destinations collectively generated 20 percent of the airport's total passenger traffic.

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