After Doha, Abu Dhabi is the latest GCC city that is using its location and networks to become a leader in the global aviation sector, especially in the amount of air traffic that it attracts. The numbers, both in passengers traffic and cargo traffic, have seen substantial growth, and this is good news for Abu Dhabi, as it has been taking up stakes in other carriers for this very reason.
The month of May has seen 1.8 million people travel through Abu Dhabi, a growth of 14.9%. The increase happened primarily on flights from India, Italy, and the United States. There has been an increase of 58.6% in the number of Indian passengers flying through Abu Dhabi, a number that has reached 305,000 in the month of May. An almost similar rate of growth occurred with the US passengers in the same time period. A 49% increase compared to the previous year, US routes saw over 106,000 travellers contributing to the passenger traffic in Abu Dhabi airport.
Meanwhile, Alitalia that has begun to fly to Milan and Venice, attracted more than 50,000 passengers adding to the traffic in Abu Dhabi airport. While this number doesn’t look huge, passengers from Italy have contributed to a growth of 166.5% compared to the previous year.
16% of the total traffic was contributed by the top six destinations from Abu Dhabi Airport in the month of May, and among them were Heathrow, London, Mumbai, Manila, Bangkok, and Doha.
Apart from the strong numbers that the passenger traffic obtained, Abu Dhabi Airports also showed significant progress in the numbers that the cargo traffic generated. Obtaining considerable growth of 9.8% in the increase compared to the same time period last year, the airport dealt with goods over 73,476 tons compared to the 64,944 tons last May.
Ahmad Al Haddabi, Abu Dhabi Airports’ COO, was reported to have said that the month of May was excellent for them, as their overall growth could be noticed in all the sectors, and both the passenger and cargo operations happened smoothly.
Abu Dhabi has also been very proactive in taking steps that will eventually see a greater increase in the hub traffic. One such step was the policy of taking up equity stakes among other well-known carriers. Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, for instance, has stakes in Italy’s Alitalia, Swiss based Darwin Airline, India’s Jet Airways, Air Seychelles, and Virgin Australia among others.