Dubai flights: Passenger traffic at DXB more than doubles to over 66 million in 2022

The surge in travellers was 'much stronger than anticipated', raising the airport's forecast for 2023 to 78 million


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Photo Credit: Dubai Airports
Photo Credit: Dubai Airports

Published: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 9:37 AM

Last updated: Tue 21 Feb 2023, 3:50 PM

Dubai International (DXB) passenger traffic more than doubled to over 66 million in 2022 on the back of a strong recovery.

Following strong results, the world’s busiest international airport raised its forecast for 2023 to 78 million.

DXB welcomed a total of 66,069,981 passengers in 2022, a year-on year-growth of 127 per cent.

Traffic volumes were propelled by strong growth in the final quarter of the year during which the airport recorded 19,729,155 passengers, up 67% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. It was the busiest quarter since 2019.

December was the busiest month of the year with 7.1 million passengers, the first time since January 2020 that DXB’s monthly traffic hit the 7 million mark.


Total flight movements at DXB totalled 96,701 during the fourth quarter, bringing the annual flight movements to 343,339, a year-on-year growth of 47 per cent. The average number of passengers per flight reached 204, up 33 per cent year-on-year.

“We knew it was the year when growth would return to the air travel sector in a big way, but the surge was much stronger than anticipated and we had to do our best to turn that challenge into an opportunity," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"Thanks to the planning, preparation, and all collaboration and hard work of our people across the airport community, we were ready to meet the challenge of rapid recovery in customer numbers while delivering significant improvement in our service quality across the board,” he added.

Griffiths said 2023 is expected to be another record year for the airport, with Dubai hosting major international events including its annual airshow and COP28.

"It will be another year of new challenges and opportunities and we are ready for them." he said.



Cargo continued to register a contraction in volumes with 420,125 tonnes recorded in the fourth quarter, down 31.7 per cent compared to 614,834 tonnes in Q4 of 2021. DXB handled 1,727,815 tonnes of cargo during 2022, a drop of 25.5 per cent resulting from the moving of all major freight operators back to Dubai World Central (DWC) and the return of pax-freighter aircraft back to passenger operations during the year.

"Our top priority in 2023 will be our customers, our people, and sustainability – three key areas that are crucial to our aspirations and goals as the world’s busiest global hub, a preferred employer, and a key player and trend-setter in the world’s aviation industry," Griffiths said.


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