Indian passenger traffic through Abu Dhabi airport grows

September 24th, 2008 - 10:53 am ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 24 (IANS) India and the Philippines were significant contributors to Abu Dhabi International Airport’s 22.9 percent year-on-year growth in passenger traffic in the month of August.The Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) announced that a total of 869,868 passengers used the airport during August this year, compared to 707,671 last year, with the year-to-date figures crossing 5.9 million - up 34.3 percent against last year’s 4.4 million over the same period.

The number of passengers travelling from or to India passing through the airport jumped by 31.3 percent during the period while Filipino passenger traffic grew 74.1 percent.

India’s national carrier Air India, budget carrier Air India Express and leading private airline Jet Airways fly to the Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is also the hub of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Etihad Airways.

Of the 1.5 million expatriate Indians in the UAE, around 300,000 are in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Among the major destinations in India flights from Abu Dhabi connect to are Delhi, Mumbai, Calicut, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore.

“We continue to meet or exceed our targets for the year with impressive growth across all sectors of the business,” Rudy Vercelli, chief executive of ADAC, said in the ADAC statement.

“In August, we welcomed our 40th airline customer, Air Blue (of Pakistan) and the continuing addition of new carriers is an important part of our development strategy and complementary to the significant growth of our home carrier, Etihad Airways,” he added.

The number of passengers to and from other Gulf States also rose particularly strongly, with Bahrain traffic up 44.4 percent, Oman up 33.1 percent, Qatar up 35.2 percent and Saudi Arabia - the largest Gulf market for the airport - up 18.3 percent.

Passenger traffic from Britain grew by 30.5 percent. The airport’s top five destinations during the month were Doha, London, Cairo, Bahrain and Bangkok.

The busiest day of the month, Aug 1, saw a total of 32,567 passengers passing through the airport.

The airport is, meanwhile working on a range of infrastructure projects to boost its capacity. These include a second runway, a new air traffic control tower and a new third terminal.

The third terminal will bring the total passenger capacity at the airport to more than 12 million.

ADAC estimates that by the end of 2008 total passenger traffic will top nine million passengers.

In 2007, the airport served 6.9 million passengers.

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