Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi International Airport has welcomed 5.26 million guests in 2021 thanks to a fourth-quarter surge that saw 2.43 million, which equates to 46 percent of the full year’s passenger numbers, pass through the UAE capital’s hub.
The Abu Dhabi Airport released its 2021 passenger traffic results, revealing that 5,262,376 passengers were served compared to 5,570,176 in 2020 representing a drop of 5.5 percent as the airport and the industry continued to experience dampened demand due to travel restrictions and eroded consumer confidence brought on by the global pandemic.
The airport recorded 74,176 flights during the year compared to 61,034 in 2020, an increase of 21.5 per cent.
“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 KSA (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).
Notable during 2021 was the robust service scores recorded at Abu Dhabi International across a number of metrics including airport cleanliness (95 percent), feeling safe and secure (95 percent), happiness index (94 per cent) and passenger health & wellness (92.9 per cent). The overall satisfaction score as measured by Airports Council International was 92percent.
Baggage service was similarly impressive as 5,377,208 bags were processed through the airport’s baggage system in 2021, including 3,878,132 departure bags that had a delivery success rate of 99.8 per cent.
Abu Dhabi Airports also released its 2021 cargo traffic results today, which confirmed Abu Dhabi International Airport handled 711,715 tonnes of freight in 2021 an increase of 31.8 percent compared to the 540,144 tonnes handled in 2020.
The surge in volumes was largely attributed to increases in general cargo shipments and special products, including express, temperature-controlled, vulnerable cargo and pharmaceuticals.
Mail volumes were also rising in 2021, with 8,767 tonnes moving through Abu Dhabi International’s cargo facility, an increase of 13.1 percent compared to the 7,749 tonnes handled in 2020.