Local Business

Dubai Int’l passenger traffic climbs 7.2% to 6.74million in March

Staff Report
Filed on May 6, 2015

The growth in passengers continued to be driven mainly by route expansion of Emirates and flydubai, particularly to Eastern European destinations.

Dubai International recorded 7.2 per cent growth in passenger traffic last month due to fast expanding networks of Emirates and flydubai, latest data shows.

According to the latest traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports on Tuesday, passenger traffic in March totalled 6.74 million compared to the 6.28 million passengers same month last year. This boosted traffic in January-March 2015 quarter to 19.60 million from 18.36 million in corresponding period last year, reflecting an increase of 6.8 per cent.

“The growth in the first quarter puts us on track to meet our forecast of more than 79 million passengers in 2015 and cement our position as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.

The growth in passengers continued to be driven mainly by route expansion of Emirates and flydubai, particularly to Eastern European destinations. Eastern Europe was the fastest-growing region during March 2015, with a year-on-year growth of 70.8 per cent.

India remained Dubai International’s biggest market, with passenger traffic growing 14.9 per cent to 863,046 passengers in March 2015. North America [+13.8 per cent] and Asia [+10.5 per cent] also showed double-digit growth last month.

The Russia and the CIS remained weak, with passenger traffic contracting 31.7 per cent due to the continuing economic and social concerns in the region, with most major cities including Moscow, Kiev and St Petersburg recording fewer passengers year on year in March.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, said Dubai International will certainly smash through another record this year and cement it’s place as the world’s busiest international airport.

“Dubai International’s continued growth highlights not just the demand for travel to and through the airport, but that the expansion of Emirates and flydubai have been key catalysts in support of this rise in passenger traffic. Both airlines have been expanding their European presence, as demonstrated by the year-on-year growth of almost 71 per cent,” he said.

Aircraft movements totalled 34,615 in March 2015, up 5.4 per cent from the 32,849 movements in the same month last year. Aircraft movements totalled 100,214 during January-March quarter, up 5.8 per cent from the 94,694 movements in the first quarter of 2014.

Meanwhile, Dubai Airports’ strategic decision to move all dedicated freighters to Al Maktoum International in May last year has resulted in a significant  shift of cargo volumes from Dubai International to DWC over the past few months.

Cargo volumes at Dubai International volumes fell 4.9 per cent in March with 216,879 tonnes passing through the facility compared to 228,154 tonnes recorded during the same month last year. Year-to-date cargo traffic totalled 594,696 tonnes compared to 613,876 tonnes recorded in the first 3 months of 2014, down 3.1 per cent.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

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