Dubai: The number of passengers travelling through Abu Dhabi International increased 18 per cent in the first nine months of the year, operator Abu Dhabi Airports said on Thursday.

The airport handled 17,473,063 passengers in the nine months to September 30, compared with 14,803,324 in the same period in the previous year, according to an emailed statement.

The top destinations over this period included the United Kingdom, United States, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Qatar, Thailand and Germany.

“Increased global connectivity continues to be an important contributor to our overall success, and we are seeing a dramatic boost in demand across the vast majority of destinations served from Abu Dhabi International,” said Abu Dhabi Airports' chief operations officer.

In September, the airport handled more than two million passengers for the third consecutive month this year. It had never handled more than two million passengers in a single month before 2015.

The airport saw a total of 2,005,748 passengers in September, an 18.2 per cent rise on the 1,696,651 passengers a year earlier.

The number of aircraft landings and takeoffs were 129,703 in the first nine months of 2015, 14.3 per cent more than the 113,515 in the corresponding period. In September, the number of landings and takeoffs rose 10.4 per cent to 14,429.

The airport has handled 621,191 tonnes of cargo over the first nine month, up 7.2 per cent, but in September the amount of cargo handled compared to a year ago fell 1.1 per cent to 67,163 tonnes.