DXB welcomes 41.3M passengers in first half
DXB passenger flights in the first half totalled 178,383.
Dubai - Airport maintains strength despite 45-day closure of southern runway for refurbishments
Dubai International Airport (DXB) welcomed 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019, maintaining its position as the world's largest international airport by traffic volume.
The closure of one of DXB's two runways between April 16 and May 30 for a complete rehabilitation programme reduced the airport's capacity, contributing to a decline in traffic of 5.6 per cent year-on-year.
A total of 41,277,749 customers travelled through DXB during the first half of 2019. The closure of the southern runway for refurbishment halved the hub's runway capacity leading to a reduction of 32 per cent in passenger flights over a 45-day period.
Total passenger flights during the first six months of 2019 totalled 178,383, down 11.6 per cent from last year, also due to the 45-day closure of the runway.
In cargo, 1,036,474 tonnes of air freight was handled during the first half, down 18.3 per cent. A significant portion of the cargo traffic is bellyhold, which was impacted by the runway closure.
Thanks to DXB's advanced operations centre, as well as the smart gates that help speed customers through immigration, wait times were reduced by 25 per cent in the first half. A total of 35 million bags passed through the airport's advanced 175km-long baggage system during the first half, a 3.9 per cent decrease.
"Despite the 45 day runway closure, Dubai International's first-half traffic decline of just 5.6 per cent year-on-year showcases to good effect just how well the airport authority managed to handle capacity with one runway as well as being able to shift flights over to Dubai World Central and back again. Not only have management and operations successfully tackled updating one of the busiest runways in the world, that they have done so on time, within budget and with minimal disruption demonstrates yet again how well the airport is run," said Saj Ahmad, analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times.
"With over 41.3 million passengers handled to date, and with the upcoming air show in just a few months time, while Dubai International may not break traffic records, it will still remain on track to be the worlds busiest international airport," he added.
"Going forward, the continued infrastructure investment in Dubai International and Dubai World Central underscores the inherent demand for travel to and through the UAE's most popular city - and it stands to reason that next year, Dubai International will break traffic records yet again."