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Another aviation milestone

Dubai International set to surpass own traffic forecast of 65.4 million for 2013

By Abdul Basit (

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Published: Tue 31 Dec 2013, 1:16 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:27 AM

Dubai International airport is on track to surpass its own traffic forecast of 65.4 million for the year, as it recorded 11 consecutive months of significant growth in 2013, according to latest data.

The world’s second busiest international hub recorded another month of high growth in November by handling 9.5 per cent more passengers to cross six million passenger mark, says a report issued by Dubai Airports — the operator of the facility.

“The growth in passenger traffic has been nothing short of phenomenal this year with a monthly average of 5.4 million customers and we are set to exceed our target of 65.4 million for the year,” Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Monday.

The region’s leading airport has registered 12 consecutive months with monthly traffic exceeding five million passengers as it handled 5.34 million passengers in November compared to 4.87 million in the corresponding period last year. The year-to-date figure reached 60.38 million passengers in contrast to 52.36 million recorded during the same period last year, reflecting an increase of 15.3 per cent.

“It’s not a surprise to know that Dubai International airport will surpass its 65 million passenger target in 2013 as the airport’s consistency in recording strong double-digit growth despite regional pressures is remarkable compared to its close the likes of London Heathrow or Paris,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times. according to a senior aviation analyst.

The monthly data shows that Western Europe recorded the largest increase in total passenger numbers, followed by the subcontinent, the AGCC, Australasia, and Africa.

In terms of percentage growth, again Eastern Europe, driven by flydubai’s services to 15 destinations in 10 countries across Europe, emerged as the strongest markets last month. Australasia, Russia and CIS also spurred by an increase in demand on routes to the region, the official data shows.

“On the back of the biggest Dubai Airshow in its history, Dubai has been, far and away, the “to be” place for connections whether that be full service or low-cost travel — Dubai has cemented its place in aviation history as a true global travel nexus — arguably and as ever, led by the strengths and expansion of Emirates and flydubai,” Ahmad said.

Aircraft movements also rose six per cent in November to 31,525 while the year-to-date movements totalled 337,121, up 7.6 per cent compared to 313,300 movements between January and November 2012.

“Dubai International’s total capacity increased to 75 million passengers per year when Concourse A was opened in January 2013 and this will be followed by the opening of Concourse D in early 2015 — we continue to focus on improving our facilities and customer service as our infrastructure development programme keeps pace with our healthy traffic growth,” Griffiths said.

In line with the passenger traffic, cargo section also sustained an upward trend and recorded double-digit growth in November. Dubai International handled 11.6 per cent [200,060 tonnes] more cargo last month and the year-to-date freight volumes reached 2.22 million tonnes compared to 2.1 million tonnes handled in similar period last year, showing an increase of 6.7 per cent.

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