28 airlines move to new Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal A

State-of-the-art hub spans 742,000 square meters
28 airlines move to new Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal A
Etihad Airways operated the first commercial flight from the new terminal

Following a successful transition phase, all 28 international airlines are now operating from the new Abu Dhabi International Airport Terminal A. Etihad Airways operated the maiden commercial flight from the state-of-the-art terminal on October 31. 

“With all airlines now operating from Terminal A, I’m pleased to announce a new era for operations at Abu Dhabi International Airport,” stated Elena Sorlini, managing director and interim chief executive officer at Abu Dhabi Airports. 

The official opening ceremony is slated for February next year. Coinciding with this milestone, the airport will also be formally renamed Zayed International Airport.

Boosting aviation capacity

At 742,000 square meters, the Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal A is one of the largest airport terminals globally. It is capable of processing up to 45 million travelers every year. Additionally, it can accommodate 79 planes simultaneously. 

Apart from increased capacity, the terminal offers a better passenger experience. It now features cutting-edge facilities such as biometric technology for more efficient screening and boarding. Moreover, it boasts expansive 35,000 square meters of retail and dining space. This is home to 163 food and beverage stores and retail outlets, including luxury brands. 

Plans for the terminal also include establishing health and beauty spas, an open-air lounge and a hotel with 138 rooms.

According to Sorlini, “Bringing new state-of-the-art facilities and a major increase in aviation capacity, Terminal A will greatly enhance the passenger experience, while enabling international airlines to further increase their presence in Abu Dhabi.”

For the whole month, 7,669 flights are projected to operate from the new terminal. In the first two weeks of operations alone, 1,557 flights already took place. In December, the figures could further increase to 12,220, catering to around 2.29 million passengers.

Read: Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal A, among largest globally, opens in November

Abu Dhabi tourism

The Abu Dhabi Airport Terminal A stands as a flagship facility that can help the city bolster its tourism sector. 

Boosting its tourism goals, the government previously announced that it aspires to attract 24 million visitors before the year ends. In 2022, the city had 18 million visitors, which reflects a 13 percent increase from 2021 figures. Meanwhile, its hotel occupancy rates soared to 70 percent, surpassing the Middle East average of 67 percent.

“Our ambitious goal to welcome more than 24 million visitors by the end of 2023 builds on healthy growth over the past year,” remarked Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani. He is an undersecretary at the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi. 

“This encouraging performance was enabled through powerful collaborations and delivery of memorable travel and business experiences across the whole year, supported by an integrated ecosystem of best-in-class services, infrastructure and impactful marketing,” he added.

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