Abu Dhabi International Airport recently reopened its Terminal 2 amid a surge in passenger demand, routes and airline customers.
Five airlines now operate more than 50 weekly flights at Terminal 2, bringing the number of airlines operating from all of the airport's terminals to 26.
A further ramp up of capacity at Terminal 2 is scheduled during May with the addition of 21 weekly flights, operator Abu Dhabi Airports said on Monday.
“Retail and duty-free services are also being reintroduced, offering passengers a full range of choice before their flight,” the airport operator said.
The surge in passenger numbers comes as coronavirus-related travel restrictions around the globe eased and markets reopened, unleashing pent-up demand for air travel.
Abu Dhabi International Airport handled 2.56 million passengers in the first quarter of 2022, a more than fourfold increase from the same period last year due to a rebound in demand.
The number of flights rose 39 per cent annually to 22,689 in the three-month period.
The relaxation of travel restrictions to and from India, the reopening of borders in Australia and Singapore and the removal of mandatory PCR testing for passengers travelling to the UAE capital contributed to the surge in passenger numbers, Abu Dhabi Airports said.
The airport operator expects 10.7 million passengers to pass through Abu Dhabi’s main airport in 2022, more than double last year’s number.
With multibillion-dollar investments in attractions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim, which is set to be completed by 2025, Abu Dhabi is strengthening its position as a leading tourist destination.
Etihad Airways is “cautiously optimistic” about the travel outlook for 2022 amid strong passenger demand and steady cargo rates as the aviation industry recovers from the coronavirus-induced slowdown, Tony Douglas, chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, said at the Arabian Travel Market fair in Dubai earlier this month.
The airline is a major contributor to Abu Dhabi airport’s growth.