Abu Dhabi airport sees slower passenger growth in 2017

Abu Dhabi airport sees slower passenger growth in 2017
In this file photo, an Etihad Airways plane prepares to land at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates. (AP)
Updated 03 July 2017

Abu Dhabi airport sees slower passenger growth in 2017

Abu Dhabi airport sees slower passenger growth in 2017

DUBAI: Etihad Airways’ hub Abu Dhabi International Airport expects a slowdown in the pace of passenger growth this year, the acting chief executive of operator Abu Dhabi Airports said on Monday.
The UAE’s second-busiest commercial airport expects to handle “around 25 million” passengers in 2017 compared with 24.5 million in the previous year, Abdul Majeed Al-Khoori told Reuters by phone.
That would represent a growth of around 2 percent compared with 5.1 percent in 2016.
“This has been a tough year for aviation globally but for the region as well,” an Abu Dhabi Airports spokeswoman said. “We have seen some slowdown in the growth of the airlines that use Abu Dhabi Airport, we also have the regional political situation, these factors are all playing into the slightly slower growth.”
The pace of growth at rapidly expanding Middle Eastern airlines has slowed this year against a more challenging economic backdrop. Travel restrictions imposed by US President Donald Trump’s administration and political crisis in the Gulf have added to the pressure.
Etihad Airways, the main carrier at Abu Dhabi International Airport, is pursuing a strategy review and recruiting for a new group chief executive to succeed veteran boss James Hogan who left the airline on July 1.
On Sunday, the US lifted restrictions on laptops for flights from Abu Dhabi. However, flights between Abu Dhabi and Doha have been suspended since last month after the UAE and three other Arab countries cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.
The Abu Dhabi airport handled 10.1 million passengers in the five months to May 31, an increase of 1.8 percent compared with the same period a year ago
The UAE’s busiest airport is Emirates hub Dubai International Airport, which is also the world’s busiest for international travelers.
Dubai International handled 36.97 million passengers in the first five months of 2017, a 6.7 percent increase on the same period last year.