Dubai International airport on track for another record year

Muzaffar Rizvi/Dubai
Filed on October 29, 2015 | Last updated on October 29, 2015 at 07.23 am
Dubai International airport on track for another record year
Dubai International Airport's year-to-date passenger traffic rose 12 per cent to 58.69 million passengers.

(Rahul Gajjar)

Passenger traffic up 8.2% in September, handles 6.4m visitors.

Dubai International Airport continued its upward growth trend in September and is primed for another record year as passenger traffic rose 8.2 per cent.

The world's busiest airport by international traffic handled 6.43 million passengers last month compared to 5.94 million a year earlier, according to latest data issued by the airport operator on Wednesday. The airport's year-to-date passenger traffic rose 12 per cent to 58.69 million passengers from 52.42 million in same period in 2014.

"Passenger and cargo traffic growth has been fairly robust during the first three quarters this year and with major events such as the Dubai Airshow and the Dubai Shopping Festival lined up over the coming months, we expect the trend to continue throughout the remainder of the year," said Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer (CEO) of Dubai Airports.

Dubai International handled a record 70.47 million passengers in 2014 and is expected to exceed 79 million mark this year. It received the highest monthly traffic of 7.3 million passengers in August - the highest in its 55-year history.

"We are pleased to be all set for another year of record growth," Griffiths added.

Services to eastern Europe and to Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar drove passenger growth, according to the data. North America also grew as Emirates airline increased capacity and frequency to New York and Seattle. Gulf countries topped overall passenger traffic, followed by the Indian subcontinent.

Aircraft movements also rose 10.6 per cent in September and reached 34,146 from 30,871 in the same month last year. Year-to-date aircraft movements surged 17.2 per cent to 302,399 compared to 257,981 during the corresponding period in 2014.

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, said Dubai International Airport continues to solidify its position as the world's busiest international airport with another extremely robust performance.

"The 8.2 per cent rise in traffic compared to the same point last year, coupled with traffic-to-date up 12 per cent to 58.6 million passengers is clearly showing the depth and strength for travel to Dubai and for onward connections via the likes of incumbent powerhouses like Emirates and flydubai," Ahmad told Khaleej Times.

He said the jump in airplane movements also highlights the better efficiency of the airports operation as upgraded runway works allow more traffic flexibility.

"As it stands, Dubai International is primed for another year of records," he said.

Air freight volumes recorded a marginal increase of 0.3 per cent in September as the airport handled 207,315 tonnes cargo compared to 206,643 tonnes recorded during the same month last year. Year-to-date cargo traffic totalled 1,853,130 tonnes, registering an increase of 2.6 per cent.

- muzaffarrizvi@khalejtimes.com

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