Zayed International Airport will complement growing UAE traffic demand from India: CEO Elena Sorlini

Indian travellers account for 21% of Abu Dhabi’s total air passengers and are the fastest growing market

Updated - June 16, 2024 11:52 am IST

Published - June 15, 2024 10:41 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Elena Sorlini, MD & CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports says, passengers can experience ‘a piece of art and a high level of service’, at Zayed International’s new terminal, one of Abu Dhabi’s five airports. Photo: Special Arrangement

Elena Sorlini, MD & CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports says, passengers can experience ‘a piece of art and a high level of service’, at Zayed International’s new terminal, one of Abu Dhabi’s five airports. Photo: Special Arrangement

Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport with an expanded capacity and a new terminal building will be a good “solution” for passengers at a time when footfalls at Dubai airport are expected to breach its capacity, according to its CEO Elena Sorlini.

“Dubai airport has hit its capacity, they will grow a bit more but they will need expansion at Dubai World Centre. But we are here now to cater to the extra demand. I think we are going to provide good solutions until they are going to be ready,” Ms. Sorlini told The Hindu during an online interaction.

India is the largest market for Abu Dhabi, enjoying 21% of the market share with 4.78 million passengers annually. In the month of May, 28% of the total flight movements (arrivals and departures) were to and from India. Zayed International Airport — one of five airports in Abu Dhabi, recorded 22.5 million passengers last year and expects this to grow to 27 million passengers by the end of 2024. It has a total capacity of 45 million passengers, which can be expanded to 65 million passengers.

‘Unique experience’

“India is the fastest growing market, and therefore the interest that it stays relevant for all of UAE,” Ms. Sorlini said.

Passengers can experience a beautiful building which is a piece of art and a high level of service, Ms. Sorlini said about the new terminal that began operations in November 2023. Spread over 7,42,000 sq metre, the terminal can process up to 11,000 passengers per hour and operate 79 aircraft at any given time. It also has 160 retail, food and beverage outlets.

“The level of attention to the customer we offer is peculiar. Passengers are at the centre of our focus, whether it is retail, food and beverages and biometric experience for faster and safer passenger processing. There are also a lot of people on the ground to provide passenger assistance. The airport is also intuitive such as enabling passengers to locate their boarding gates. There is no need to take a train and change terminals, as it is all under one roof. For departing passengers too there is one access point,” Ms. Sorlini said explaining the airport’s benefits.

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