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Sun 31 Jan 2010 06:16 PM

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Abu Dhabi airport sees 9.7m passengers in 2009

Airport operator ADAC says July was busiest month; cargo traffic also on the up.

Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) notched up a 7.3 percent spike in passenger numbers in 2009, airport operator ADAC revealed on Sunday.

Some 9.7 travellers passed through the airport last year, up from 9.01 million in 2008, ADAC said, while total flights hit 102,118, up 9.6 percent on the previous year.

July was the airport’s busiest month, with 923,124 travellers passing through its terminals.

Cargo traffic was also in positive territory, chalking up a seven percent increase on 2008, ADAC noted. More than 378,000 tonnes of cargo were shipped from ADIA last year.

Globally, the aviation industry is still languishing in negative growth, with passenger averages shrinking -0.3 percent in 2008.

“Despite the adverse global economic climate and the consolidation observed in the aviation industry during 2009, Abu Dhabi International has proven to be a resilient airport operation, with solid growth in both passenger and cargo traffic numbers,” Khalifa Al Mazrouei, chairman of ADAC, said in a statement.

ADIA added 14 new destinations to its route network in 2009, including Amritsar, India; Berlin, Germany and Chicago, USA, while eight new airlines began operations out of the airport.

The airport last year offered direct flights to 80 destinations in 46 countries.

The airport’s top performing carrier, in terms of passenger numbers, was Etihad Airways, the UAE’s national carrier, followed by Air India Express, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Pakistan International Airways.

London remained ADIA’s most popular city destination, followed by Bangkok, Doha, Manama and Cairo.

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