Thursday, January 26, 2017

Abu Dhabi airport traffic tops 24.5m in 2016

More than 24 million passengers passed through Abu Dhabi International Airport's terminals during 2016, according to statistics released yesterday.

A total of 24,482,119 passengers used the airport as a point of departure, arrival or transit, representing a 5.1 per cent increase on the 23,286,632 passengers registered throughout 2015, a Wam news agency report said.

Acting chief executive officer at Abu Dhabi Airports Abdul Majeed Al Khoori said: "The figures released reveal consistent growth in passenger traffic, demonstrating that Abu Dhabi continues to expand as a global hub processing more passengers than ever before."

The year 2016 saw significant rises in traffic to and from a number of key destinations, such as the United Kingdom, which increased by 11.4 per cent. India remained in top position, with more than four million passengers throughout 2016, representing a market share of 18.1 per cent and an annual growth of 13.3 per cent.

Al Khoori said: "Our partner Etihad Airways produced strong results throughout 2016, which contributed significantly to the increase in passenger traffic at the airport. In fact, Etihad Airways accounted for 76 per cent of traffic throughout last year, more than 18.6 million passengers. We are always looking, together with our stakeholders, for more opportunities to grow and meet the demands of our various markets."

Traffic throughout Terminal 3 rose to around 15 million passengers a 12.6 per cent increase compared to 2015. Contributing to the significant rise in traffic was the introduction of the Smart Travel System, installed in Terminals 1 and 3 in the first quarter of 2016. This innovative system allows passengers to use automated check-in, bag drop and boarding facilities, in addition to unmanned passport control gates equipped with biometric verification functions and facial recognition technology, he said.

Al Khoori noted the importance of introducing these innovative measures. "Smart Travel, which is the first of its kind in the region, has been highly successful and decreased processing times by 70 per cent. Not only does this greatly improve customer experience and satisfaction, it also allows us to process significantly more passengers."

"Ultimately such improvements contribute greatly to meeting the requirements of Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 and the Abu Dhabi Plan, both of which highlight travel and tourism as cornerstones of a diversified economy," he added.

"During December 2016, over two million passengers travelled through our international airport, representing a 3.7 per cent increase on December 2015. Terminal 3 experienced a 30 per cent increase, handling 1,474,436 travellers throughout the winter month," Al Khoori said.

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