Abu Dhabi International Airport has achieved a record growth of 30.2 per cent in passenger traffic of 9.02 million in 2008 against 6.9 million in the previous year.
The airport closed the year on a high having reached the target milestone, which adds to the continuing and historic growth and development the airport is undergoing, said a statement.
Cargo in the last month of 2008 saw a slight decline over December figures last year but overall cargo figures, for the full 12 months, saw a steady 12.2 per cent increase – a total of 353,820 tonnes (arrival and departure cargo only) handled.
Aircraft movements at the airport saw a similar 13.2 per cent increase up to 93,163 (2008) over 82,287 (2007).
"Abu Dhabi Airport Company (Adac) is absolutely delighted to have crossed another historic milestone and passed the nine million a year passenger figure," said Khalifa Al Mazrouei, Adac Chairman, in a statement.
"In achieving this milestone Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, must be recognised for the commitment the airline is making to increasing connectivity and frequencies to and from the capital," he said.
The expansion plans will take another giant step forward in the next few weeks as Abu Dhabi International Airport's new Terminal 3 look to go fully operational, further boosting the airport passenger capacity to 12 million per year.
In other airport data released by Adac yesterday, the top five most popular city destinations travelled to, from Abu Dhabi, in December 2008 were announced as first Doha, followed by London, Cairo, Bangkok and Bahrain.