Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid: DXB named world's busiest airport for international passengers in May

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on May 30, 2021
Photo: Wam

The airport handled 5.75 million passengers during the first quarter of the year.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) has been named the world’s busiest airport in May, as air travel returns and borders reopen due to mass Covid-19 vaccination drive by the UAE government.

The Dubai airport’s scheduled capacity was nearly 1.9 million passengers in May, according to aviation intelligence firm OAG.

DXB also maintained its status as the busiest airport for international passengers in the first quarter of the year, when it handled 5.75 million passengers during the January-March 2021 period.


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In 2020, DXB had maintained the busiest airport for international passengers for the seventh consecutive year after it overtook London’s Heathrow Airport in 2014, according to Airports Council International.

Last year, DXB handled 25.9 million passengers, despite the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc in the aviation industry, forcing airports to shut down and grounding airlines across the globe.

The travel restrictions and suspension of flights from certain countries also impacted airports and airlines.

The new variants of Covid-19 also continue to batter the sector with travel bans on passengers from the worst-hit countries.

But governments are increasingly reopening their borders with those countries that have largely vaccinated their citizens.

Data from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority showed international passenger traffic reaching 7.61 million during the first four months of 2021, including 1.87 million during the month of April.

The numbers are significantly higher when compared with last year’s April figures of 39,794 passengers, when international flights from Dubai airports were suspended after the Covid-19 outbreak.

OAG data showed Turkey’s Istanbul International Airport emerged as the second busiest airport with 1.3 million seats, followed by Doha Airport at 1.22 million, and Amsterdam Airport at one million.

Frankfurt International Airport, Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, London’s Heathrow Airport, Miami International Airport, John F Kennedy New York Airport, and Incheon International Airport in South Korea rounded off the list of busiest airports.

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