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Abu Dhabi Airport Sustains 32.8% Passenger Growth Over First 10 Months

Doha, London, Bangkok Are Top 3 Destinations From The UAE Capital

Despite global slowdowns in the aviation industry in 2008, Abu Dhabi International Airport continues to buck the trend as traffic figures for October and the first 10 months of the year, just released by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), show YTD passenger growth continuing to grow strongly at 32.8 per cent. At current rates, the UAE capital’s main aviation hub remains on course to approach the nine million passengers a year milestone by the end of 2008, having already served 7.5 million passengers in the first 10 months and over 8.7 million in the trailing twelve months (TTM), representing a 34.0 per cent increase. Passenger figures for October, versus the same month in 2007, showed similar growth with an increase of exactly 32.0 per cent with aircraft movements up 7.5 per cent and cargo posting a similar 7.9 percent increase. Year-to-date (YTD) figures for aircraft movements and cargo fared better than the monthly rates registering 14.6 per cent and 14.3 per cent growth respectively. A number of conferences and exhibitions held in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE were partially credited with supporting October’s passenger loads; the UK continued to attract strong growth (33.1 per cent) moving into third position withPakistan becoming the second largest market served from the UAE capital, after India. The ongoing network expansion of Etihad Airways, the National Airline of the UAE, remains a key component in the growth of passenger and cargo figures through Abu Dhabi International with additional frequencies and destinations continuing to be added. Particularly strong growth (34.5 per cent) came from the airport’s largest passenger market, India, with route performance being driven strongly by the airline’s growing capacity to South Indian destinations. In addition to Etihad, airlines that started their operations from Abu Dhabi International in 2008, such as India’s Jet Airways and Pakistan’s Air Blue – both the largest independent commercial airlines in their respective countries – have also contributed to the growing capacity to and from the sub-continent. “While we recognize that such high growth rates are not sustainable indefinitely and if we factor in the considerations surrounding an overall worldwide slowdown in traffic we must be pleased with the sustained growth we are seeing and are optimistic that even with possible fluctuations in growth over the next 12 months, Abu Dhabi International Airport remains on course to meet the demands of its passengers now and into the future,” said Rudy Vercelli, CEO of ADAC. “In meeting the needs and demands for greater capacity, I am pleased to note that the full integration and operations of Terminal 3, will take place in a phased introduction over the next few months, and while – on paper – it provides us with an additional five million capacity facility I am sure that the terminal will also offer an exciting travel experience for a growing number of passengers travelling trough the airport in 2009,” added Vercelli. In related data, ADAC also released the top five most popular city destinations travelled to fromAbu Dhabi in October 2008, which were: Doha (first), London, Bangkok, Cairo and Bahrain. These five cities accounted for 17.8 percent of total traffic through Abu Dhabi International Airport in the month of October.

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