Abu Dhabi International Airport's Q3 passenger traffic surges 29.3% on higher demand

New terminal, which is set to double capacity, is scheduled to open on November 1

About six million passengers used Abu Dhabi airport from July to September. Delores Johnson/ The National
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Abu Dhabi International Airport's passenger traffic jumped 29.3 per cent annually in the third quarter of 2023 as demand surged ahead of the opening of its new terminal.

About six million passengers used the airport from July to September, state-owned operator Abu Dhabi Airports said on Friday.

“We are attracting major international airlines to Abu Dhabi, with Air France and SunExpress all scheduled to start this IATA [International Air Transport Association] winter season, and we further welcome British Airways’ recent announcement to return to Abu Dhabi in April 2024,” said Elena Sorlini, managing director and interim chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports.

“Terminal A brings a host of new capabilities and facilities, and will be key to airline and, consequently, passenger growth.”

Abu Dhabi International Airport is set to open its new terminal building to the public on November 1, with airlines shifting their operations in phases before starting flights next month.

Airlines will move to the new Terminal A building in three phases over a two-week period from November 1 to November 14, after Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways operates a ceremonial flight on October 31, Abu Dhabi Airports said this month.

From November 1, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and 15 other international airlines are scheduled to fly from the new terminal.

From November 9, Etihad Airways will operate 16 flights from the terminal. And from November 14, 28 airlines will operate from the terminal.

Once the new terminal opens, it will help to double the airport's capacity – allowing it to handle up to 45 million passengers a year.

At triple the size of the old terminal, and with flights to 117 destinations globally, it will increase the frequency and reach of flights to and from Abu Dhabi.

The emirate’s connectivity also expanded significantly in the third quarter, with 119 destinations served from Abu Dhabi International Airport by 24 airlines, the airport operator said.

The busiest destinations included London (238,196 passengers), Mumbai (228,189) Kochi (191,883), Cairo (172,570) and Doha (168,417).

Abu Dhabi Airports also handled 143,979 tonnes of air cargo during the same period.

Updated: October 27, 2023, 1:32 PM