Capital’s airport hits double-digit growth

ABU DHABI Airports Company (ADAC) reported a 12.2 per cent growth in passenger traffic at the capital’s international airport in 2010, compared with 2009, with nearly 11 million passengers passing through the facility.

The positive passenger development during 2010 is also reflected in aircraft movement numbers which reached 112,000, a jump of 10 per cent in comparison to 2009.

Levels of air cargo demonstrated a dynamic growth of 16 per cent in 2010, registering 438,000 tonnes handled at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The double-digit increases in passenger, aircraft and cargo figures are a strong indicator of the healthy growth that the Abu Dhabi economy is enjoying and ADAC has invested heavily in attracting new airlines and encouraging existing airlines to expand their services to Abu Dhabi through new routes and increased frequencies.

2010 also saw Abu Dhabi International Airport welcome five new international airlines, six new destinations and an average of 41 additional frequencies from its existing airlines – a 13 per cent increase in the total weekly outbound flights compared with the previous year.

The airport retail revenue reached Dh582 million ($158 million) in 2010, setting a new record for the company. The figure represents a 15 per cent increase over 2009 sales performance. 

In particular, the month of November saw a year-on-year revenue spike as a result of the airport’s promotional activities during the F1 season in Abu Dhabi.

The launch and roll out of the new shop-dine-unwind brand for Abu Dhabi Duty Free in May 2010 was another key driver for the double-digit increase in the airport’s retail performance.

Retail figures show the average transaction value during 2010 as Dh194 ($52.8) one of the highest in the region, mainly due to the attractive combination of the retail mix, a variety of luxury brands and the promotional campaigns of the retail operators.

ADAC has also signed an agreement to build a Premier Inn at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The 300-room hotel, which will represent an investment of more than Dh120 million ($32.6 million) is set to open in 2012.

The hotel will be located opposite Terminal 3 and conveniently linked to Terminals 1 and 3 by a retail corridor containing several stores and lounges.

It will feature an all-day restaurant and bar, a coffee outlet and several meeting rooms.