Dubai Intn'l Airport sees record traffic surge in July


Dubai Intnl Airport sees record traffic surge in July
Dubai International Airport welcomed 51.12 million passengers during the first seven months of 2017.

dubai - Passenger traffic surged 5.9 per cent to hit 8.06 million compared to 7.61 million handled in July 2016


Issac John

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Published: Tue 22 Aug 2017, 7:50 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Aug 2017, 9:54 PM

Dubai International Airport, or DXB, the world's busiest for international traffic, set a new record in monthly traffic in July on the back of the city's growing appeal as a preferred global connectivity hub and tourist destination.

In July, passenger traffic surged 5.9 per cent to hit 8.06 million compared to 7.61 million handled in July 2016 even as the number of flights declined, operator Dubai Airports said in a statement on Tuesday.

DXB welcomed 51.12 million passengers during the first seven months of 2017, up 6.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2016. The trend indicates the airport is on track to far exceed the annual 2016 traffic of 83.6 million passengers this year.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said the upward trend is expected to remain strong in the third quarter with Eid Al Adha coinciding with the summer rush later this month. "We have started the second half of the year on a very positive note," he said.

Aviation and travel analysts attribute the remarkable traffic surge at the airport to the consistent route expansion being carried out by Dubai's two carriers, Emirates and flydubai. Over the past few months, Emirates launched three new passenger routes to its network of 157 destinations in 84 countries and territories.

For July traffic, India retained its position as the top destination country with 1.02 million passengers, followed by the UK (610,151 passengers) and Saudi Arabia (573,170 passengers). The most popular destinations served from DXB by traffic volume were London, followed by Kuwait, Mumbai, Bangkok and Riyadh.

South America was the fastest growing region for the month with traffic surging 59 per cent, followed by Asia at 20 per cent - with China and Thailand as top contributors to traffic from the region, Eastern Europe at 16.3 per cent and Africa, which grew by 9.1 per cent.

Dubai's increasing appeal as a holiday hotspot even during summer season is another key driver for the July upswing. In the first half, a record 8.06 million international overnight tourists arrived in Dubai, a 10.6 per cent increase over the same period last year, according to figures released by Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism).

Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based Strategic Aero Research, said Dubai International's stunning performance in July underscored the strength and pull of the hub and city on the back of Ramadan ending and coinciding with the start of the peak summer period.

"Led by Emirates' continued rapid organic expansion and greater route proliferation by flydubai, Dubai International is well on its way to cementing another record-breaking year and expands its leadership as the world's busiest international gateway," Ahmad told Khaleej Times.

He said the airport has to further address drone disruption as well as effectively compete with neighbouring Dubai World Central for cargo traffic, particularly as flydubai moves there later this year.

Hamad Obaidalla, chief commercial officer at flydubai, said the airline remains committed to providing passengers with more choices and opportunities to travel. "There is strong demand for affordable and off-the-beaten track holiday destinations and we look forward to offering our passengers a variety of unique and exciting options," Obaidalla added.

According to Richard Stolz, head of corporate development at grmc Advisory Services: "Based on the latest figures, it looks like DXB Airport will reach further passenger number growth in 2017 compared to last year. This growth is likely to be boosted as further inward travel will pick up from regions like Europe and Asia after Dubai's hot summer is over."

Flight movements during July reached 34,181, down 4.7 per cent compared to 35,8864 movements recorded during July 2016. Year-to-date flight movements totalled 240,179 compared to 243,832 movements recorded during the same period last year, a contraction of 1.5 per cent. With DXB's ratio of wide-bodied aircraft continuing to drive airport efficiency, passengers per movement peaked to a record high of 243 during July, up 10.1 per cent compared to 220 in July 2016.

DXB recorded a surge in cargo with freight totalling 213,258 tonnes in July, up five per cent compared to 203,153 tonnes recorded during the corresponding month last year. During the first seven months of 2017, DXB handled a total of 1,516,169 tonnes of cargo compared to 1,485,177 tonnes during the same period in 2016, an increase of 2.1 per cent.

In 2016, DXB's traffic reached 83.65 million passengers, compared to 78.01 million in 2015, up 7.2 per cent. During 2016, a number of new airlines, including Nepal Airlines Corporation and Rossiya, launched services to DXB while 11 new passenger destinations were added to the hub as a result of network expansion by flydubai, Emirates and other international carriers.


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