More travellers are making Middle East their stopover of choice

Travel News 27 Sep 2016

Hamad International Airport has welcomed 17.6 million passengers during the first half of 2016, registering a growth of more than 20 per cent compared to the 14.6 million passengers served during the same period last year, setting a new passenger record for the airport.

HIA also saw a significant increase in aircraft operations from January to June with a total of 118,069 movements, which represents a 17 per cent increase in aircraft take-offs and landings at the airport, compared to the same period in 2015.

This growth is attributed to the continuous expansion of Qatar Airways with eight new destinations added in the first half of the year namely: Adelaide, Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Los Angeles, Marrakech, Ras Al Khaimah and Yerevan.

Cargo tonnage continued to grow strongly by 20.3 percent totalling 817,792 tonnes during the same period, further strengthening HIA’s position as one of the world’s major cargo hubs.

HIA’s top routes in regards to passenger numbers during the first half of this year were Dubai, London, Bangkok, Bahrain and Colombo, generating collectively 20.3 percent of the airport’s traffic.

The UAE topped all countries in terms of total passenger numbers followed by India, Saudi Arabia, USA and United Kingdom.

Regionally, the Far East achieved a 33.6 per cent share of passenger movements, followed by the Middle East with 22 per cent and Europe with 21.6 percent during the same period.

Hamad International Airport is the hub for its home base carrier Qatar Airways, which now flies to more than 150 destinations worldwide, making Doha a global hub for business and leisure travel.

Other main airports in the Middle East:

Abu Dhabi International Airport is an international airport in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. At the crossroads of east and west, Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of the fastest growing airport hubs in the world. This is the main hub of Eithad Airways and an increasingly popular choice among passengers flying to the United States of America due to its US preclearance facility. The United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Terminal 3 (T3) in Abu Dhabi Airport is a purpose-built facility that allows US bound passengers to process all immigration, customs and agriculture inspections in Abu Dhabi before they depart. Having cleared CBP, guests can check-through their baggage to their final destination in the US. When they arrive, they will be treated as domestic passengers, meaning they will save time connecting to other flights or on to their final destination.

Dubai International Airport is the primary airport serving Dubai, United Arab Emirates and is the world's busiest airport by international passenger traffic putting it ahead of London Heathrow and Hong Kong for international passengers. It is the hub of Emirates Airlines providing scheduled services to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand. It operates out of Terminal 3, Concourses A,B and C. Dubai International Airport is also a secondary operating base for Qantas's European flights since stregthening its relationship with Emirates in 2013