RIYADH: Abu Dhabi’s airports saw around 22.4 million travelers in 2023, a 40 percent increase from the previous year, driven largely by passengers from the Indian subcontinent, official data showed.       

In a report by the Statistics Centre – Abu Dhabi, it was revealed that annual arrivals through the emirate’s airports in 2023 reached over 11.1 million, with departures standing at 11.3 million, reported the Emirates News Agency, also known as WAM.   

The increase in figures coincides with several air transport agreements concluded by the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority as well as improvements made during 2023.     

It also underscores the aviation sector’s significant achievement in managing air traffic and ensuring the smooth and safe arrival and departure of all COP28 guests.    

In regard to aircraft traffic, Abu Dhabi’s airports experienced significant increases in 2023, with Zayed International Airport handling 141,225 flights, marking a 27.8 percent rise from 2022’s 110,536 flights. 

Meanwhile, Al-Ain International Airport recorded 8,409 flights last year, up from 7,598 flights in 2022.    

The report further showed that the Indian subcontinent topped the list of arrivals through Abu Dhabi’s airports by country of origin, with about 3.2 million travelers by the end of 2023.  

This was followed by Western Europe with 1.9 million, Asia with 1.7 million, as well as Gulf Cooperation Council countries with around 1.6 million, and East Asia with 822,777 travelers. 

The Indian subcontinent also led in the number of departures from the emirate’s airports last year, with around 3.5 million travelers, followed by South America with 1.9 million, Asia with 1.7 million, and GCC countries with 1.6 million. 

At Al-Ain International Airport in 2023, arrivals totaled 51,067 travelers, while departures numbered 43,945, with 1,763 transiting through the airport and 1,011 through Zayed International Airport.  

In terms of cargo traffic across the emirate, 319,993 tonnes of goods were imported last year, primarily from Asia with 138,187 tonnes, while exports reached 238,644 tonnes, led by Western Europe with 98,089 tonnes. 

Meanwhile, Al-Ain International Airport handled 1,263 tonnes of exports and 501 tonnes of imports in 2023.  

In December 2023, a senior civil aviation executive projected that the UAE’s airports would accommodate 135 million passengers in 2024, reflecting a 4 percent increase from the previous year.  

Speaking to local newspaper Emarat Al-Youm, Saif Al-Suwaidi, director general of the General Civil Aviation Authority, noted positive indicators indicating growth in flights and destinations for national carriers. 

He also anticipated growth from countries such as Canada, South Korea, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. 


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