Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) stated it would spend AED500 million (USD136.1 million) to raise the passenger handling capability at Abu Dhabi International Airport by 75% over the next two years (The National, 11-Nov-2010). ADAC stated the capacity enhancement programme will be implemented to increase the throughput potential of the airport from 12 million to 20 million passengers p/a. The expansion will occur as Etihad Airways outgrows capacity at Terminal 3 after just two years in operation. The carrier commented: "Etihad's growth has put enormous pressure on Abu Dhabi International Airport." The improvements will serve as a stop-gap measure for the airport's facilities until the opening of the planned USD6.8 billion Midfield Terminal, which will become the permanent hub of Etihad, which generates 70% of the airport's traffic. The planned opening date of the Midfield Terminal is between 2015 and 2016.
Etihad growth prompts capacity upgrade at Abu Dhabi Airport
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Gulf airlines in Australia/New Zealand: 2017 could surpass 2016's record growth
Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
In Australia/NZ Gulf airlines have doubled their presence between 2012 and 2017. In Australia/New Zealand, by 2020, Gulf airlines could create the presence of two Singapore Airlines, an operation which established itself over many decades. Gulf growth has broader implications as their mostly European traffic flows challenge historical Australia-Europe hubs in Asia.
Emirates has multiple reasons for cutting back on US capacity
As the most conspicuous and largest, Emirates Airline often takes on its shoulders the increasingly difficult task of defending Gulf aviation. Emirates often single handedly represents the Gulf and "Middle East Big 3", in much the same way as Dubai carries regional geopolitics.
Just as there are significant differences between the Big 3 US airlines who have strenuously opposed the Gulf carriers in the US market, so Emirates is fundamentally different from its peers: it is longer established, has a larger home market and has had a more commercial mandate from the beginning.
Yet Emirates must compete in a market where many others would like a piece of that market. Just as Dubai Inc modelled itself in many ways on Singapore Inc, there are many who would follow the same trail. This does not lead to steady market conditions.
Certainly the policies of US President Trump have hurt aviation and tourism. But Emirates' announcement of a 19% reduction in services to the United States is less about US policies and more about the nature of the market forces that started before Trump was even a serious Presidential contender.