STOCK Zayed International Airport
London maintained its status as the top destination city with nearly 290,000 passengers travelling to and from the English capital. Image Credit: Zayed International Airport

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Airports recorded a substantial 35.6 per cent growth in passenger numbers over the first three months of 2024. The entity, which operates five airports within the emirate, said more than 6.9 million passengers were handled during the period compared to 5.1 million same time last year.

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“Buoyed by strong global demand for passenger and commercial services, the first quarter witnessed a positive upswing in flight movements, with 61,737 movements recorded,” said a statement.

Zayed International Airport alone handled over 6.8 million passengers. The airport's new terminal, which opened in February, expanded its airline database with the return of Turkmenistan Airlines and the launch of Hainan Airlines operating to Haikou, China. This brought the total number of regular scheduled operators to 29 airlines by end of Q1-24.

Last week British Airways relaunched its operations from Zayed International after a hiatus of four years. The airline will operate daily flights from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow. "This further cements its position as a leading hub, evidenced by significant jumps of 26.6 per cent in movements and 36 per cent in passenger traffic," the statement added.

Top destinations

London maintained its status as the top destination city with nearly 290,000 passengers. The other leading destinations included Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi, and Doha.

Elena Sorlini, Managing Director and CEO at Abu Dhabi Airports said: "Abu Dhabi Airports remains committed to investing in its facilities and services to enhance the passenger experience and wider value proposition to satisfy our existing airline partners and our common customers as well as attract new ones." 

Zayed International Airport’s Top 5 destinations by passenger numbers (Q1 2024)

  1. London 289,674
  2. Mumbai 240,681
  3. Kochi 206,139
  4. Delhi 203,395
  5. Doha 184,317

Cargo operations

Cargo traffic also registered significant expansion in Q1-2024, with 162,000 tonnes of air freight handled across all airports. This marks an increase of 25.6 per cent.