Abu Dhabi airport traffic rises after Etihad adds more London seats

Passenger traffic through Abu Dhabi International Airport last month rose nearly 16 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The increase comes on the back of Etihad Airways increasing its capacity to London. The use of the Airbus A380 aircraft has lifted capacity between Abu Dhabi and the UK capital by 53 per cent, Abu Dhabi Airports said on Sunday.

Approximately 1.78 million passengers passed through the airport last month, compared to 1.53 million in November last year.

In the first 11 months of this year, about 21.7 million passengers passed through the airport, up 17.4 per cent from 18 million in the year earlier period.

Abu Dhabi International Airport has many transit passengers, the volume of which is tied to wider market developments.

It is spending heavily on adding new capacity, even as its existing terminals show signs of strain.

Abu Dhabi Airports Company has completed a refurbishment of Terminal 1 and plans to open the Midfield Terminal in 2017 at a cost of US$3.2 billion to boost capacity to 45 million passengers.

Cargo volumes were up by 4.6 per cent against the previous year, with 760,472 tonnes of freight passing through the airport in the year to last month, compared with 727,333 tonnes in the same period last year.

London remains the airport’s most popular route, with the UK now the second most popular destination served by the airport, behind India.



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