Dubai International Airport off to a flying start in 2016

Dubai International Airport off to a flying start in 2016

Passenger traffic in January hits a record 7.3 million.

By Staff Report

Published: Tue 15 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 17 Mar 2016, 7:31 AM

Dubai: Dubai International started the New Year with a record monthly traffic of 7.3 million passengers in January as Emirates airline expanded its operations to North America.
Passenger traffic through the world's busiest airport for international business climbed 6.3 per cent from a year earlier to a record 7.33 million people in January, surpassing the previous benchmark of 7.2 million passengers, which was set in August 2015.
Passenger traffic reached 7.3 million in January this year from 6.89 million registered during the same month in 2015, the airport's operator said on Tuesday.
"The record passenger numbers in January confirm that the growth trend from last year has continued into 2016 and we are on course to meet our projection of 85 million passengers this year," said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.
The airport opened a new concourse last month, projecting this would help boost traffic to 85 million passengers in 2016, up from 78 million last year.
"Concourse D's opening in February has increased DXB's capacity to 90 million passengers a year, allowing us to continue to accommodate the rising number of people whilst boosting service levels. In the months ahead, we will begin the complete refurbishment of Concourse C which will further improve passenger flows and the overall customer experience," Griffiths said.
In terms of percentage growth, North America recorded the highest growth in passenger traffic (19.9 per cent) - led by Emirates with the addition of an Orlando route and increased services to Boston, New York and Seattle. It is followed by the GCC (11.6 per cent) where Saudi Arabia registered double-digit growth thanks to the surge in traffic from Jeddah, and the subcontinent (8.7 per cent) propelled by traffic on routes to strong markets of India and Pakistan.
India remained the top destination country in January with a total of 989,819 passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia (606,730 passengers) and the UK (488,819 passengers) while London was placed number one on the list of top destination cities followed closely by Doha and Jeddah.
Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, said Dubai International's target to handle 85 million passengers this year looks to have started extremely robustly. "This year-on-year six per cent plus increase in passenger traffic testifies to the strength and allure of Dubai International as being a prime choice for traveller connectivity for transit as well as those who visit the city and the wider UAE," Ahmad told Khaleej Times.
"Growth in key markets such as the US means the airport is providing competitive leverage for passenger travel from the GCC," he said, adding that flydubai continues to carve out a bigger market share in places like India and Pakistan.

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