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Sat 21 Feb 2009 10:37 PM

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Abu Dhabi defies global downturn

Abu Dhabi International Airport posts double digit passenger growth in January, defying global credit crunch.

Latest traffic figures for Abu Dhabi International Airport, released on Saturday, show a 10 per cent rise in passenger traffic in January over the same month last year – this against a deteriorating global economic backdrop.Only a month earlier, the airport passed a significant milestone by handling over nine million passengers in 2008 (an airport record), having exceeded conservative expectations over the previous two years with an unparalleled, 30-plus percentile growth rate.

“We have said all along that, even during buoyant market conditions, growth rates such as we have seen (+30 percent) over the last two years were not sustainable indefinitely, but we are pleased that, in light of the added challenge of the global economic slow down, we remain an airport of choice and have continued to realise double-digit growth,” said Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Chairman and Managing Director of ADAC.

The trailing 12 month figures, however, did point to growth rates that have been more familiar to Abu Dhabi International Airport over the last few years with a 27.8 per cent increase in traffic – 9.1 million passengers by the close of the month versus 7.1 million on January 31 2008.

Cargo for January recovered from a slight decline in the previous month by posting a 2.0 per cent increase on last year’s tonnage; aircraft movements were also up by 2.8 per cent. TTM figures for both cargo and aircraft movements showed a respective 11.2 and 11.7 percent increase.

In related news, ADAC also released data highlighting the top five most popular city destinations travelled to from Abu Dhabi, in January 2009, which were: Doha (first), London, Cairo, Bangkok and Bahrain.

These destinations accounted for 16.9 per cent of all traffic through Abu Dhabi International Airport in January.

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