By Andy Sambidge
Airport operator says more than 16.5m people uses aviation hub; cargo traffic also up by 11.2%
Abu Dhabi International Airport posted record figures for the number of passengers it served during 2013, its operator has announced.
Abu Dhabi Airports said in a statement that passenger figures grew to more than 16.5 million, a 12.4 percent rise on 2012.
Aircraft traffic also registered an 11.2 percent increase with a total of 135,213 movements at Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Freight traffic also registered a big rise of more than 24 percent, with more than 706,000 tonnes of cargo handled during the year.
The statement said: "The increase in passenger, aircraft and cargo traffic is a result of Abu Dhabi Airports' strategy of on-going development of facilities and services to benefit its customers.
"This has seen new airlines attracted to Abu Dhabi as well as existing air carriers expand their services to and from the UAE's capital city."
The top five destinations from Abu Dhabi throughout the year were India, Germany, England, Thailand and Saudi Arabia.
Tony Douglas, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "Last year was an incredibly busy time for us at the airport and I'm delighted to see everyone's hard work rewarded by the statistics that show we handled more passengers and freight than ever before and the airport saw more aircraft arrivals and departures than previously.
"We opened a new arrivals hall for Terminal 1 & 3 in 2013 and we made significant progress on our Midfield Terminal Project, which is set to open for business in July 2017 and will increase the airport's capacity to be able to handle 30 million passengers a year."
Figures for December showed that the airport ended the year on a high note. Passenger traffic was up 14.4 percent to more than 1.5 million air travellers compared to December 2012.
Cargo tonnage was up 27 percent to 66,000 tonnes while the number of aircraft movements went up by 9.9 percent to 12,052. December was the airport's second busiest month of the year following August.For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.