Abu Dhabi International Airport’s half-year traffic soars 67%

By Simon Warburton |

Abu Dhabi International Airport

Abu Dhabi International Airport. Photo: Shutterstock.

Abu Dhabi International Airport posted a 67% year-on-year rise in passenger traffic for the first six months of the year, with more than 10.3 million people passing through the Middle East hub between 1 January – 30 June 2023.

On top of welcoming 10,258,653 people in H1 2023, the airport recorded 67,835 flights – a rise of 36% compared to 49,919 flights during the same period in 2022.

Abu Dhabi International Airport’s network continues to expand, with 114 destinations served by 27 airlines during H1 2023.

Cities with the highest passenger traffic included Mumbai (461,081), London (374,017), Delhi (331,722), Kochi (316,460) and Doha (261,117).

“Our passenger traffic figures for the first half of 2023 highlight our extensive efforts to support Abu Dhabi’s increasingly vibrant business, tourism and aviation sectors,” said Abu Dhabi Airports Chief Operations Officer Frank McCrorie.

“Sustained increases in passenger numbers and flights also highlight Abu Dhabi Airports’ growth plans, in parallel with exemplary operations, technological integrations and ever-expanding partnership ecosystem.

“Our aim is to build on this momentum, reinforcing Abu Dhabi International Airport’s position as a preferred airport in the region, with focus on delivering service excellence to our guests every day.”

Hollywood star Tom Cruise was aboard the first flight to the new Midfield Terminal in June to promote Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One. Source: Abu Dhabi Airports.

Tom Cruise at Midfield Terminal

This year, Abu Dhabi Airports won the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) award for ‘Best Airport at Arrivals Globally.’

In June, A-list actor Tom Cruise visited Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal, where key parts of Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One were shot.

The star arrived on the first flight into the new Midfield Terminal, unveiling custom Mission: Impossible livery on an Etihad Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner (as the official airline of the film, Etihad carries the film branding on this aircraft as it flies to destinations worldwide.)

Part of the celebration included the Midfield Terminal building being decorated in a similar theme to mark its role in the film, with one of its ‘most thrilling and technically complex’ action scenes having been shot on the building’s 315-metre roof.

The film marked the first time that the terminal’s interior will be seen by the public when it was released in cinemas on 13 July.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One also features purpose-built sets at the airport, including an Etihad First Class Lounge, as well as scenes set in the Liwa Desert.

“We’re proud of our role in the film and our contribution to Abu Dhabi as a destination that attracts global talent,” said Elena Sorlini, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports.

“The scenes showcased in the movie are a testament to the architecture, scale and design of the iconic Midfield Terminal, which is inspired by the cultural elements of Abu Dhabi.”

In other news, Abu Dhabi Airports has announced that daily non-stop flights operated by Air France-KLM connecting Abu Dhabi and Paris will be resumed starting October 2023.

Abu Dhabi International (AUH) was awarded six accolades in the 2022 Global Travel Retail Awards, including winner of the Best Airport for Customer Service, Best Airport for Retail Environment, and Best Airport Food & Beverage Offer categories as well as earning the Best Overall Airport gong.


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