During peak times, check-in opens four hours before departure. Image Credit: Supplied

Etihad Airways is expecting over 1.5 million travellers at the Abu Dhabi International Airport from November 21 until January 8, 2023, the airline said on Thursday.

Shaeb Al Najjar, General Manager Hub Operations, Etihad Airways, said: “There has never been a better time to experience Abu Dhabi, with the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix taking place this weekend and many more attractions to be enjoyed over the winter season. Football fans from around the world will also be flocking to the region ahead of the most exciting football event of the year.

“As a result, Etihad with its partners, is geared up and ready to host 1.5 million expected guests over the next six weeks. Visitors flying via Abu Dhabi will enjoy the experience from the moment they take off with Etihad’s award-winning Cabin Crew and hospitality.”

Etihad Airways has been awarded Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.

Effective from November 21 until January 8, 2023, guests will be able check-in 24 hours to four hours before their flight at the staff travel centre located below Terminal 3 check in area. They will receive free Etihad miles or additional 5kg excess baggage, get complimentary two hours at the Skypark parking. The facility will be open from 10am till 5.30pm.

Travellers should check in online and arrive early to complete the airport formalities. During peak times, check-in opens four hours before departure and closes one hour before departure for non-US flights and two hours before departure for US flights. Boarding for all Etihad Airways departures closes 20 minutes before departure.

Etihad carried 4.02 million passengers in the first half of 2022, over three million more than last year (H1-2021 figures stood at 980,000), and is well on track to double the numbers in the second half.

The average seat load factor in the first half stood at 75 per cent.

“Our load factors at the moment are in the mid 90 per cent. For Q3, we are looking at the late 80s, and we remain positive for Q4. We are well on track to double the four million passengers for the full year,” Etihad’s Chief Financial Officer Adam Boukadida told Gulf News earlier in an interview.

The airline’s passenger revenues tripled in the first six months of the year, climbing to $1.25 billion, compared to $320 million in the year-ago period.

Dubai, too, is gearing up for a massive surge in passenger numbers at the Dubai World Central (DWC) airport with the match day shuttle flights to Doha for the FIFA World Cup 2022 all set to start from November 20.

Operated by flydubai and Qatar Airways, up to 120 match-day shuttle flights will fly in and out of DWC every day between November 20 and December 19.

Passenger numbers at the airport are forecast to surpass 494,000 in the final three months of the year. The airport has a capacity of 26.5 million passenger per annum.