As much as I love Etihad, I find that Abu Dhabi Airport leaves a lot to be desired. While the new first class lounge is great, the terminals as such are subpar. Terminal 1 is outdated, while Terminal 3 is way too small to handle the number of passengers they have during peak hours.
Never mind the fact a majority of flights at Abu Dhabi Airport presently leave from remote stands…
Fortunately Abu Dhabi Airport is constructing a new midfield terminal, which will accommodate an additional 30 million passengers per year. That’s huge, especially when you consider that the airport currently has a capacity of about 23 million passengers. The new terminal will be 700,000+ square meters, and should mean that significantly fewer planes will have to leave from remote stands.
Up until recently we’ve been hearing that the new terminal will open in 2017, so in theory it shouldn’t be far from finished. Unfortunately that’s not the case anymore, though.
Gulf Business is reporting that the opening of Abu Dhabi Airport’s new midfield terminal is being delayed by two years, to 2019. That’s horrible, when you consider that we were supposed to be just months from the new terminal opening.
Apparently they were originally having some problems with the terminal’s roof, though as far as I know that was factored in when the terminal’s expected opening was delayed from September 2017 to December 2017. So I’m not sure what the cause of the latest delay is, exactly.
Given the record the Middle East has when it comes to opening things on time, I suspect even 2019 is optimistic at this point. If they actually thought the new terminal would open in 2019, they’d still be saying that it will open this year, naturally. 😉
Fortunately Etihad has some decent lounges at Abu Dhabi Airport at this point. However, it was my understanding that they were going to up their game even further when they moved to the midfield terminal. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the new lounges there look like, if/when the new terminal opens.
(Tip of the hat to Points from the Pacific)