Dubai airport could join '100 million passenger club' this year

DXB is deploying innovative technologies, expanding and refurbishing existing infrastructures, which is likely to increase the airport’s capacity to 120 million

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Waheed Abbas

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Photo: KT file
Photo: KT file

Published: Mon 8 Jan 2024, 10:05 AM

Last updated: Mon 8 Jan 2024, 10:59 PM

Dubai International (DXB) airport could join the '100 million passengers club' (referring to the number of passengers serviced in a year) this year as the aviation sector continues to grow at an exponential pace in the post-Covid period, said a new study.

According to a global aviation analyst CAPA - Centre for Aviation, a market intelligence firm for the aviation and travel industry, several cities will join, or rejoin, the ‘100 million passengers club’ in 2024.

One of cities mentioned is Istanbul, which now has the largest network of routes in the world at a single airport, with a total (as of the week commencing December 18, 2023) of 298 direct routes at Istanbul Airport, and a further 125 at the Sabiha Gökçen Airport. Istanbul has been part of the 100 million passenger club before.

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“Other cities likely to join or rejoin the club this year are Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Dubai, and Atlanta (a single airport). London will again by far be the largest in terms of passenger numbers at its collective airports with 177 million passengers anticipated in the calendar year 2023, based on growth rates in the first eight months of 2023,” CAPA - Centre for Aviation said in its outlook for 2024.

Dubai airport has been consistently growing after passenger traffic was hit in 2020 in the wake of the outbreak of the pandemic.

In November, Dubai Airports raised its 2023 annual passenger forecast to 86.8 million, surpassing 2019 traffic.

Monthly passenger traffic in the second half of 2023 averaged 7.6 million, tracking pre-pandemic levels throughout the third quarter. The world’s largest hub recorded 22.9 million passengers in Q3 – the highest quarterly traffic since 2019, taking the total year-to-date traffic for the first nine months of the year to 64.5 million passengers, up 39.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2022 and 1 per cent above 2019.

Capacity of 120 million

Dubai Airports expects record-breaking numbers to continue in 2024 as well.

With a current capacity of 100 million passengers annually, DXB is deploying innovative technologies, expanding and refurbishing existing infrastructures which is likely to increase the airport’s capacity to 120 million.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, recently said at a conference that the rise of Dubai airport is one of the world's most fascinating stories which started with humble beginnings but with an absolutely fantastic vision.

“In 1961, we started with 42,000 passengers. Now it's 7.5 million a month… We now have 95 airlines and 254 individual cities. And of course, we're not going to stop there,” he said during the conference.

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