Abu Dhabi International Airport today released its traffic figures for February 2009, which showed a strong increase in passenger traffic from India, Abu Dhabi’s largest travel market. The total number of passengers increased six per cent over February 2008, while aircraft movements increased 4.9 per cent.
The Indian subcontinent saw strong growth due to improved load factors, increased weekly service frequencies, and competitive prices. Four Airlines currently operate to seven destinations in India. With an increase of 36.4 per cent in passengers for the month, India was a key driver of passenger growth in February, whilst passenger numbers for Pakistan increased 14.6 per cent.
Abu Dhabi’s third largest international market for the month was the UK, with an increase of 5.1 per cent in passenger traffic.
International exhibitions, conferences and shows such as IDEX were an important factor in sustaining a traffic increase in February.
Etihad Airlines, the UAE’s national carrier, recorded a five per cent increase in traffic and is the main driver of traffic through the airport, including traffic to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has become the fourth largest market for the airport. In the month of February Saudi Arabia experienced a 10.2 per cent increase in passenger numbers.
Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President of Airline Marketing and Aeronautical Revenue, said: “We are very pleased that we still have strong and sustainable growth rates. IATA has projected growth for the Gulf even as they predict tough times ahead for the rest of our industry. However, we cannot be complacent. In light of the global economic downturn, we know that now more than ever is the time to focus on consistent quality, reliability, and exceptional service, because people will be more selective with their travel. That is why we continue to focus on improving our facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport and we continue to evolve as a world class airport of choice.”
Mail volumes increased by 7.3 per cent for February while cargo saw a slight decline of 2.1 per cent, to 26,758 tons, as a result of the international economical downturn. .
ADAC also released data highlighting the top five most popular city destinations travelled to from Abu Dhabi, in February 2009, which were: Doha, London, Bangkok, Cairo, and Bahrain. These destinations accounted for 17.2 per cent of all traffic through Abu Dhabi International Airport during the month.