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Abu Dhabi Airport records huge growth in passenger traffic in Q1

Abu Dhabi Airports on Wednesday released its passenger traffic results for the first quarter of 2022. It revealed that the airport welcomed 2.56 million guests, more than triple the number seen during the same period last year, on the back of resurgent demand and the resulting introduction of new frequencies, routes and services.

First quarter statistics confirm that 2,563,297 passengers were served compared to 807,310 in the first quarter 2021, an increase of 218 per cent as COVID-19 related travel restrictions across the globe eased and markets re-opened.

The airport recorded 22,689 flights during the period compared to 16,351 in 2021, a sharp increase of 38.8 per cent.

“The first quarter continued to build on the momentum we saw in the 4th quarter of 2021 as travel restrictions eased further, markets re-opened and airlines deployed capacity to accommodate the resulting surge in demand,” said Shareef Hashim Al Hashmi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports.

He added, “There is no doubt that developments such as the relaxation of travel restrictions to and from India, the re-opening of Australia and Singapore and the removal of mandatory PCR testing for passengers travelling to Abu Dhabi provided further lift.”

As a result, Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomed the expansion of operations by home carriers Etihad Airways, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, the launch of 10 new routes as well as the introduction of new carriers Go First and Pegasus Airlines.

Load factors have also doubled with the average passenger load factor reaching 70 per cent during the first three months of the year versus 35 per cent during the same period in 2021.

The airport now offers flights to 99 destinations across the globe on 26 airlines compared to 81 destinations on 18 carriers during Q1 2021.

The top five countries in terms of passenger volumes during the period were India (515,927), Pakistan (253,874), United Kingdom (170,620), KSA (137,582) and Egypt (127,009). The busiest destinations being served by AUH during Q1 included London (123,055), Delhi (103,472), Islamabad (101,476), Kochi (90,022) and Dhaka (89,272).

Customers continued to rate service levels highly at Abu Dhabi International during the first three months of 2022 across a number of metrics including airport cleanliness (98.4 per cent), feeling safe and secure (98.2 per cent), happiness index (96.4 per cent) and health safety (97.4 per cent).

The overall satisfaction score as measured by Airports Council International (ACI) was 91.8 per cent.

Abu Dhabi International also received ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation for the second year running in recognition of continued efforts to enhance health and safety measures in accordance with international standards.

First quarter baggage service was similarly robust as a total of 1,737,290 bags were processed through the airport’s baggage system during the first three months of the year with a delivery success rate of 99.8 per cent.

The airport also handled 144,114 tonnes of air freight during the first quarter, a decline of 15.7 per cent compared to the 170,876 tonnes handled during the same period last year primarily due to the redeployment of cargo capacity to support passenger operations.

The airport processed 1,835 tonnes of mail during the period compared to 2,518 tonnes during the first quarter 2021, down 27.1 per cent for the same reason. Top cargo markets during the period included the Netherlands (12,835 tonnes) and India (12,720 tonnes).