DXB traffic exceeds 7 million in October
With seven million passengers in October, Dubai International (DXB) started the final quarter of the year on a positive note and is poised to meet its target of hitting 90-million passenger milestone in 2018.
While there was a moderate growth in October of 2.1 per cent year on year, with the hub's year to date traffic reach 74.5 million passengers, analysts predict the last two months would witness increased flow.
Industry analysts said increased passenger traffic from the CIS states and Eastern Europe would continue to drive the growth to put DXB on track to surpass 88.2 million passenger numbers of 2017.
In 2017, DXB was ranked the world's third largest airport in terms of passenger traffic after Atlanta International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport. But Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Los Angeles International Airport were catching up fast, recording 85.4 million and 84.55 million passenger traffic in 2017, respectively.
In October, while the airport severed 7,007,823 customers, taking DXB's year to date numbers up by 1.5 per cent, baggage volumes surged four per cent to 5.7 million bags during October. In October 237,499 tonnes of airfreight was handled at DXB, up 2.5 per cent, bringing the total cargo tonnage for the year to 2,169,991, Dubai Airports, the airport's operator said.
Saj Ahmad, an analyst at London's StrategicAero Research, said Dubai International's continued growth puts it on track for another record year and maintain its status as the world's busiest international airport.
"With traffic year to date around 2.5 per cent higher than last year at over 74.5 million passengers, the airport will likely see further traffic gains during November and December, coinciding with the holiday and festive Christmas period," Ahmad told Khaleej Times on Monday.
He said the introduction of smart gates has greatly improved passenger's experience with waiting times falling, despite the rise in traffic.
"New technologies and processes like this will ensure additional capacity can be catered for - particularly has next year's planned runway closure will lead to longer queues, flight departures and arrivals - so anything that enhances the throughput of passengers will temper delays," he said.
Dubai is also expanding its second hub at Al Maktoum Airport, or DWC, nearly five-fold to an annual capacity of 26 million passengers this year.
A major highlight of the performance this year is that DXB, which leverages real-time information to improve service and efficiency, as well as the smart gate technology that helps speed customers through immigration, could reduce wait times by 33 per cent in October.
India, a traditionally strong market, remained DXB's top destination country by customer volume, with total traffic reaching 999,771 during the month. The UK was the was second with 502,890 customers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 444,803 customers. Other markets of note include the US (231,688 customers) and China (200,765). The top three cities were London (302,139 customers), Mumbai (204,753) and New Delhi (184,669).
North America held its position as the fastest growing region with 14.4 per cent, growth, followed by Africa at 9.8 per cent and CIS growing eight per cent.
Flight movements increased to 33,988 (+2.2 per cent) in October while the average number of customers per flight was slightly up at 214, (0.5 per cent).
A total of 340,198 flights have taken-off or landed at DXB (-0.2 per cent) so far this year, bringing the total number of daily flight movements at DXB to 1,122. - firstname.lastname@example.org