Who has the busiest skies? Obviously it's Dubai

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Who has the busiest skies? Obviously its Dubai
DXB is the world number one in international passenger traffic, retains third place by handling more than 83 million passengers in 2016.

Published: Sun 19 Mar 2017, 7:51 PM

Last updated: Mon 20 Mar 2017, 10:09 PM

Three of the world's busiest airports that include Dubai International, retained their rankings by recording consistent surge in passenger traffic in 2016, according to Airports Council International's preliminary passenger data for 2016.
While more than 104 million passengers, including international and domestic travellers, flew through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in 2016, making it the busiest passenger airport in the world for the 19th year in a row, Beijing Capital International Airport and Dubai International Airport (DXB) retained their rankings respectively as the second and third busiest global airports. Beijing Capital International Airport came in second place again with more than 94 million passengers, a five per cent increase over 2016.
DXB, which is the world number one in international passenger traffic, retained third place by handling more than 83 million passengers in 2016 - up more than seven per cent over 2015.

Atlanta, which is a major port of entry into North America and connecting hub for many US domestic flights, saw an increase in passengers of 2.6 per cent last year compared to 2015, according to ACI preliminary passenger data. Atlanta is also within a two-hour flight of 80 per cent of the United States population.
The passenger numbers - which include domestic and international travel - will be included in ACI's overall preliminary report, which will be released in April. A final report will be published in June.
Los Angeles International Airport jumped from seventh to fourth place, with eight per cent growth translating to nearly 81 million passengers.
China had more good news, with Shanghai's Pudong InternationalAirport entering the top 10 in ninth place, with more than 66 million passengers and a growth rate of 10 per cent over 2015. It came in 13th place in 2015.
That pushed Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with its more than 65 million passengers and essentially flat growth, to 11th place.
ACI's preliminary data is based on data from more than 1,200airports worldwide.
World airline passenger traffic increased by 6.3 percent last year compared to 2015, driving a record 3.7 billion passenger trips, according to the International Air Transport Association. The growth, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), outpaced the 10-year average annual growth rate of 5.5 per cent.
International passenger traffic last rose by 6.7 per cent year over year, while airline capacity increased 6.9 per cent and load factor declined to 79.6 per cent. All regions recorded year-over-year increases in demand, Iata said on February 2.
Middle Eastern carriers claimed the strongest regional growth for the fifth year in a row, with an 11.8 per cent increase in RPKs. Capacity growth of 13.7 per cent outpaced demand, with load factor declining 1.3 per cent, to 74.7 per cent.
Domestic air travel increased by 5.7 percent last year. Capacity increased by 5.1 per cent and load factor inched up to 82.2 per cent-0.5 percentage points over 2015. All major markets except Brazil showed growth. India and China saw RPKs increase by 23.3 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.
"Demand for air travel is still expanding. The challenge for governments is to work with the industry to meet that demand with infrastructure that can accommodate the growth, regulation that facilitates growth and taxes that don't choke growth," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata director general and CEO.
Saj Ahmad, an analyst at London's StrategicAero Research, said while Dubai International maintains third place overall for traffic, the airport ranks number one when it comes to handling true international traffic.
"Atlanta and Beijing are heavily reliant on domestic passenger headcount to inflate their numbers, however Dubai has no domestic market to rely on and exclusively caters for international traffic. This makes Dubai's achievements even more compelling given that the world truly sees the city as a great nexus point for one stop international travel.
Given the rate of growth at Dubai International, it will certainly overtake Beijing Capital before the decade is out," said Ahmad.
With development at Dubai World Central speeding up, Atlanta's days as the number one airport in terms of passengers is also going to be surpassed, he said.
Dubai International began the new year in top gear as monthly traffic in January reached an all-time high of 8 million passengers, according to the traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports.
Passenger traffic rose 9.7 per cent to 8,037,008 in January 2017, up from 7,327,637 in the same month in 2016. This follows DXB's performance in 2016 during which the airport welcomed a record 83.6 million passengers.
Richard Stolz, head of Corporate Development at GRMC Advisory Services, said Dubai airport is on track to achieve its overall forecast to reach 89 million passengers in 2017.
"As for international passengers DXB is already ranked as the world's number one airport - going forward it seems DXB can more and more narrow the gap to airport hubs as Beijing or Atlanta to climb the latter for overall passenger traffic - for instance Beijing Capital International Airport had circa 94 million passengers in 2016," said Stolz.
- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com


Issac John

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