A report conducted by world renowned management consultants, Arthur D. Little,
has listed Abu Dhabi as one of the fastest growing aviation hubs in the world today.
Figures released in a comprehensive, independent analysis of world airport passenger traffic for 2007 placed Abu Dhabi as one of the joint
leaders in a top ten of the world’s top performing intercontinental hubs, in terms of relative growth. The leading hubs, along with Abu Dhabi,
included New Delhi and Doha with Mumbai and Guangzhou, China - Baiyun in joint second. Others in the top ten included Dubai,
Madrid-Barajas, Sao Paulo, JFK, and Bole (Ethiopia).
Supporting the findings of this report, figures released directly from ADAC
on Wednesday demonstrated yet more growth with passenger numbers for the
first nine months having been lifted by a third (32.9%) to over 6.67 million passengers, over the same period last year.
The trailing 12 month figures (September 2007 to September 2008) faired even better demonstrating a solid 34.6% growth and over
8.5 million passengers handled through the airport during that period.
Aircraft movements in the first three quarters showed a steady 15.5% increase with cargo maintaining a familiar growth pattern, seen
throughout 2008, with a steady 14.8% increase.
Q3 figures alone also showed positive signs over the same July-September period last year with passenger traffic up 24.1%, cargo up
13.6% and aircraft movements showing a steady 13% improvement.
With the summer peak travel period over, September’s monthly figures compared to the same month last year reflected more conservative
growth rates by comparison yet the percentage gains far outstrip current international norms with passenger numbers increasing by 22.5%. Cargo traffic saw a 7.5% increase with aircraft movements up by 11.3%.
Airways remains the main contributor to growth at Abu Dhabi International as it continued an aggressive
expansion of its network over the last 12 months, adding both new destinations as well as additional frequencies on existing routes. In addition,
to Etihad’s expansion, seven new airlines have also commenced operations from Abu Dhabi
since the beginning of the year – the latest
being AirBlue, Pakistan’s largest independent carrier, which started operations from Abu Dhabi International’s Terminal 2 in August.
“ADAC has always made clear its ambition for growth but to be independently recognized, in the context of many other airport developments
worldwide, demonstrates the company is delivering on its commitments and that our efforts to become a truly world-class global gateway are
gradually and genuinely being realised,” said Rudy Vercelli, CEO of
ADAC. “The phased opening of our new Terminal 3 and soft-launch of the CAT III(B) second runway are just two examples of new facilities we have
introduced in October this year and will only help support both the greater services and experiences we hope to provide for all our customers
and airline partners.”
When fully operational, Terminal 3 will boost the airport’s overall passenger capacity by five million to over 12 million and will be used
predominantly by Etihad Airways. The T3 will act as an interim facility until the ‘Midfield Terminal Complex’ (MTC) comes online in 2012. In its first
year of operations, the MTC’s capacity is expected to be around 20 million passengers per year.
The top five most popular city destinations travelled to from Abu Dhabi in September 2008 were: Doha (first), Jeddah, London, Cairo and Bahrain. These five cities accounted for exactly
17% percent of total traffic through Abu
Dhabi International Airport in the month.
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