Passenger traffic through Abu Dhabi International Airport rose 21.5 per cent in February, recording around 1.7 million visitors, airport authorities said in a statement.
This compares to 1.4 million passengers that the airport recorded in February 2014, the statement added.
Aircraft movements over the airport during February totalled 12,852, up 15 per cent year-on-year while cargo activity rose 12.6 per cent to reach 64, 067 tonnes.
“The monthly traffic figures continue to match the long term forecasts of growth in passenger numbers,” said Ahmad Al Haddabi, chief operations officer at Abu Dhabi Airports.
“Against this backdrop, we are working tirelessly to upgrade our existing infrastructure to meet this sustained increase in demand.
“The latest phase of this upgrade was the recently announced Terminal 1 expansion which is already having a positive effect on passenger flows and efficiencies at the whole airport. We are implementing a full programme of further capacity enhancements both inside and outside the terminals, enabling the existing infrastructure to gear up ahead of the opening of the Midfield Terminal.”
Mainly driven by UAE flag carrier Etihad, passenger traffic in the capital’s airport has been growing steadily over the last few years. Abu Dhabi received around 20 million passengers in 2014, the highest it has seen in terms of passenger numbers.
In order to accommodate the burgeoning rate of passenger growth, Abu Dhabi is building a massive Dhs10.8 billion midfield terminal project that is scheduled to be operational by 2017.
The 700,000 square metres terminal is expected to more than double the capacity of the airport from 15 million to 40 million passengers annually.
Airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are fast becoming busy hubs due to the connectivity offered by carriers such as Emirates and Etihad and their favourable location between Europe and Asia.
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad specifically has been expanding its route network rapidly through equity stakes and codeshare deals with various airlines, helping it to increase the passenger traffic in its Abu Dhabi hub.