Dubai: Passenger traffic at DXB triples to 14.2 million; forecast raised to 62.4 million in 2022

It achieved the milestone despite significant capacity reduction due to 45-day closure of its northern runway

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A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 17 Aug 2022, 10:22 AM

The operator of Dubai International said on Wednesday that 14.2 million passengers had travelled through the airport in the second quarter and raised its forecast for the year to 62.4 million passengers. Dubai International Airport (DXB) said it achieved the milestone despite a significant reduction in capacity resulting from the 45-day closure of its northern runway in May-June for a major refurbishment project.

The steady surge of growth throughout the second quarter has propelled the world's busiest hub's half-yearly traffic to 27.9 million passengers, just 1.2 million shy of the airport’s total annual traffic last year.

“Based on the strong first half and projection of a stronger second half with average monthly traffic expected to reach 5.6 million passengers, Dubai Airports has readjusted upwards its annual forecast for 2022 to 62.4 million passengers,” DXB said in a press statement.

Top destinations

India remained DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers with traffic for the first half reaching four million passengers – driven primarily by top city destinations such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia was second on the list with two million passengers, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 1.9 million passengers. Other country destinations of note include Pakistan (1.7 million passengers), and the U.S. (1.4 million passengers).

The top three cities were:

- London: 1.3 million passengers

- Riyadh: 910,000 passengers

- Mumbai: 726,000 passengers

The hub welcomed a total of 27,884,888 passengers in the first half of the year, up 161.9 per cent compared to H1 2021, said DXB in a press release. The traffic volume represents 67.5 per cent of DXB’s pre-pandemic passenger traffic during the same period in 2019.

Moreover, DXB handled 390,520 tonnes of cargo in the second quarter, bringing the total freight volume for the first six months of 2022 to 910,075 tonnes, a contraction of 18.9 per cent. DXB’s cargo traffic was impacted during the second quarter by the moving of major freight operators back to Dubai World Central (DWC) in March.

As a significant portion of the cargo traffic at DXB is carried within the hold of passenger aircraft, the total cargo throughput was affected by the reduction in capacity due to the northern runway refurbishment programme, which took place between May 9 and June 22.

During the first six months of 2022, DXB said it handled a total of 154,993 flight movements, up 55.9 per cent compared to the first half of 2021. The figure represents 87 per cent of the pre-pandemic flight movements at DXB during the first half of 2019.

"DXB’s recovery from the impact of the global pandemic has been spectacular, and that position has been strengthened during 2022, particularly during the second quarter,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

“We knew at the start of the pandemic that the dramatic downturn would be followed by an equally dramatic upturn, so we were well prepared for it and using all of the business data at our disposal were able to predict the start of the recovery,” said Griffiths.

“We worked with our service partners across the airport community to be ready and prepared to deliver the consistently smooth and easy experience that our passengers have come to expect at DXB,” he added.

Smart Gates

Smart Gates are speeding customers through the immigration process. Customer waiting times have also remained short despite surging traffic. During the first half, 96 per cent of passengers queued for less than five minutes at departure passport control, whilst the average queue times at security check on departures were less than three minutes for 97 per cent of total passengers, said DXB.

The 175km long baggage handling system at DXB processed a total of 27.1 million bags in the first half of 2022 with a success rate of 99.8 per cent (mishandled baggage rate of 1.75 bags per 1,000 passengers). At least 92 per cent of all baggage was delivered within 30 minutes.


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