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London and India dominate airport traffic in Abu Dhabi

Zayed International airport's air traffic controllers have guided planes carrying at total of 6.8 million passengers in the first three months of the year Abu Dhabi Airports
Zayed International airport's air traffic controllers have guided planes carrying 6.8 million passengers in the first three months of the year
  • Passenger numbers up by a third on 2023
  • Almost 7m passengers recorded in Q1
  • London, Mumbai and Kochi top routes

London and Indian cities dominated traffic at Abu Dhabi’s airports during the first quarter with year-on-year visitor numbers up by more than a third.

Close to 7 million passengers passed through the emirate’s five airports in the first three months of the year.

Zayed International airport, formerly known as Abu Dhabi International airport, welcomed 6.8 million passengers. The airport launched its new $3 billion Terminal A last year, which is designed to manage up to 45 million passengers a year.

Abu Dhabi also operates Al Ain International airport, Al Bateen Executive airport, Delma airport and Sir Bani Yas airport.

In the first quarter of this year there were almost 62,000 flights in total from all five, an 11 percent increase on 2023.

London topped the list as the most popular destination, with nearly 290,000 passengers travelling to and from the UK capital, followed by Mumbai (240,681), Kochi (206,139), Delhi (203,395) and Doha (184,317).

Ties with the UK were strengthened further this month with the inaugural arrival of a British Airways flight, which signalled the start of daily flights between the UAE capital and London’s Heathrow airport.

In the first three months of the year Turkmenistan Airlines returned to Zayed International airport and Hainan Airlines launched its flights to Haikou, China, bringing the total number of regular scheduled operators to 29 airlines.

Cargo traffic also increased by almost 26 percent to 162,000 tonnes across all of the emirate’s airports.

“With these strong Q1 results, the airport group is well-positioned for further growth and success in the future,” said Elena Sorlini, managing director and chief executive officer at Abu Dhabi Airports.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that neighbouring Dubai International remains the busiest international airport in the world with almost 87 million passengers last year, which was also up by about a third from 2022.

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