The Abu Dhabi aviation market is set for strong growth in 2012, according to the latest OAG data.
Seat capacity is expected to increase to 9.9 million (one-way) this year, up 12 per cent from 8.9 million in 2011.
The latest numbers highlight that the capital of the United Arab Emirates is still outgrowing not just the global aviation market, but also the Middle East aviation market that expects a six per cent growth in seat capacity this year.
The number of departures from Abu Dhabi International Airport is estimated to grow by eight per cent this year, from 50,700 to 54,600.
The fact that the number of seats flown rises faster than the number of flights underlines a trend towards long-haul flights operated by larger aircraft.
Abu Dhabi’s growth as a global aviation hub is fuelled by the success of Etihad Airways, which accounts for a 71 per cent market share in 2012.
The national airline – recognised as the World’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards - will offer around seven million seats at Abu Dhabi International this year, an increase of 900,000 seats or 15 per cent.
Second to Etihad are Qatar, airberlin and Air India Express which each account for three per cent of the market.
The most significant market for flights to and from Abu Dhabi is Asia, with 3.5m one-way seats flown this year, followed by the Middle East with 3m seats and Europe with 2.2m.
However, the most dynamic market is currently Africa.