UAE: Abu Dhabi expects double the numbers airport passenger this year after subdued 2021


Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed 5.26 million passengers in 2021, down 5.5% on 2020

Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed 5.26 million passengers in 2021 after a fourth-quarter surge in a year dampened by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Q4 saw 2.43 million passengers, 46 percent of the full year’s numbers, as the total fell by 5.5 percent compared to 5.6 million in 2020 as the airport and the industry continued to experience subdued demand due to travel restrictions and eroded consumer confidence.

The airport recorded 74,176 flights during the year compared to 61,034 in 2020, an increase of 21.5 percent.

“The sharp rise in passenger traffic during the last three months is a clear indication that the recovery is underway and gaining momentum,” said Shareef Al Hashmi, CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports.

“We expect traffic to double at Abu Dhabi International this year to reach 10.7 million as vaccination programmes progress, government restrictions in markets around the world ease and consumer confidence rebounds.”

Abu Dhabi International’s network also expanded significantly during 2021, with 103 destinations now being served compared to 75 destinations in 2020.

The top five countries in terms of passenger volumes in 2021 were India (932,949), Pakistan (550,728), Egypt (446,883), the United States (254,201) and Saudi Arabia (244,954).

The busiest destinations being served by AUH included Cairo (372,456), Islamabad (209,280), Delhi (197,012), Lahore (184,315) and Dhaka (182,983).

Abu Dhabi Airports also released its 2021 cargo traffic results which showed that the airport handled 711,715 tonnes of freight in 2021, an increase of 31.8 percent.

The surge in volumes was largely attributed to increases in general cargo shipments and special products, including express, temperature-controlled, vulnerable cargo and pharmaceuticals.

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