The latest traffic figures for Abu Dhabi International Airport show that an average of 24,833 passengers visited the airport each day in March, in spite of the economic downturn. Aircraft movements increased by 4.5 per cent last month, according to figures released by the airport company.
For the first time, London has taken the top position as Abu Dhabi’s most popular destination, with Doha coming in second. Bangkok ranked third, in spite of recent political unrest there, while Cairo came in at fourth place. Bahrain was the airport’s fifth busiest destination for the month, boosted by the arrival of Bahrain Air at Abu Dhabi International Airport on March 30.
Traffic to the Indian subcontinent saw the strongest growth, driven by Etihad’s increasing capacity to South India and by greater weekly frequencies. Traffic to and from India rose by 32 per cent, while traffic to and from Pakistan grew by 12.7 per cent, making these countries Abu Dhabi’s largest and second-largest markets, respectively. The UK remains its third-largest market, with Saudi Arabia a close fourth. Strong traffic growth was also registered for Lebanon, up by 20.7 per cent. “We are happy to say our passenger figures are still growing. Naturally, attracting new airlines contributes to this growth, however, we believe the excitement and interest in Abu Dhabi that exists within international markets drives a large part of the growth,” said Mohammed Al Bulooki, the company’s Vice-President of Airline Marketing and Aeronautical Revenue.
He said that the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority predicts an increase in the emirate’s capacity for tourism, with 4,000 new hotel rooms coming online this year. “We expect Abu Dhabi’s popularity as a destination for commerce and tourism to continue to increase. All of this contributes to our expansion plan to increase capacity and improve our facilities at the Abu Dhabi International Airport,” Bulooki said.
Airmail volumes surged by 39.9 per cent, led by an increase in mail volume to the US and Australia, and cargo movements edged higher by 2 per cent in March. — firstname.lastname@example.org
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