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Etihad Airways
Shelly Page
Senior Manager
Hala Abu Dhabi

A Unique Solution


In December 2015, the state-of-the-art Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal (ADCT) was inaugurated as a significant landmark for cruise tourism in the Arabian Gulf region. Located in Zayed Port, the terminal is just a 30-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Collaborative Business Partners

Abu Dhabi Ports together with Etihad Airways, Etihad Airport Services and Hala Abu Dhabi (Etihad’s sole own DMC), eases cruise-to-airport transfers.


Insufficient time to transfer ADCT cruise passengers connecting to Etihad flights departing from Abu Dhabi International Airport.


Abu Dhabi Ports, Etihad Airways, Hala Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) held joint meetings to understand how to facilitate cruise passengers disembarking at ADCT to catch their flights on time.

To create a unique solution, airline check-in counters at ADCT became the first cruise terminal in the region to provide this service. Since 2015, the Etihad teams have been providing check-in services, securing baggage and providing guest transfers.

Ensuring Smooth Experiences

Prior to setting sail for Abu Dhabi, cruise liners have the option to print boarding passes for Etihad fly/cruise guests and have them delivered to the ship, making it a bespoke experience.

Each passenger will have a smooth experience at the terminal due to the close co-ordination between Etihad Airport Services and Hala Abu Dhabi. Etihad Airport Services has access to 15 SITA CUSS check-in counters at the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal allowing for a full Etihad Airways check-in transaction to be completed. On average up to 500 guests per hour can be handled within the facility.

The Etihad Airport Services team handles all the baggage, which is loaded promptly and securely onto luggage trucks. The baggage is then injected straight into the airport baggage handling system for screening and loaded onto the aircraft. Guests are met upon arrival at the airport inner curb and assisted straight through to passport control and onwards to their boarding gate.

Coordination with Etihad Airways Network Operations Control also ensure any possible flight connection issues for guests, associated with the delayed docking of the ship due weather or other unforeseen circumstances, are communicated in advance.

Etihad Airport Services also offer end-to-end ground handling and secure check-in solutions for cruise lines who wish to operate their own charter flights into Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Case Studies