Dubai Airports revises upward passenger traffic forecast for 2021

India, Pakistan top passenger destinations for Dubai International airport in third quarter of 2021.


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 15 Nov 2021, 9:26 AM

Last updated: Mon 15 Nov 2021, 11:32 AM

Dubai Airports on Monday revised upwards its passenger traffic forecast for 2021 to 28.7 million, up by two million, on the back of relaxation of restrictions for air travel.

“It's been a steady journey of recovery for Dubai International Airport (DXB), and while we are still a long way from pre-pandemic levels of traffic, we are encouraged to see this significant increase in the rate of passenger growth which continues to endorse our position as the world's largest international airport.

"Our performance to date has led the global recovery in all aspects of aviation activity and the growing ability of countries around the world to manage the global pandemic is allowing travel restrictions to be lifted,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

“Significant market developments such as the UK's vaccination-based travel programme, the resumption of flights to several important destinations in Australasia and the relaxation of restrictions for travel between India and the USA have all contributed to an upward revision in our forecast for the year by an additional two million passengers to 28.7 million,” said Griffiths.

In order to meet strong passenger demand, Dubai International said it will reopen Concourse A before the end of November, putting DXB back to 100 per cent capacity after 20 months of reduced operations.

India, Pakistan top passenger destinations in Q3

Dubai International airport’s passenger volumes in the third quarter totalled 6.7 million. The airport is currently serving 83 per cent of the destinations in 99 per cent of the countries on 108 per cent of the airlines compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dubai Airports said South Asia retained its rank as its largest contributor of passenger traffic led by India (2.8 million) and Pakistan (1 million). Egypt was ranked third with 753,000 passengers, followed closely by the US (710,000) and Turkey (598,000). Other destination countries of note include Ethiopia, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The top three cities by traffic were Cairo (634,000), Istanbul (576,000) and Addis Ababa (573,000).


DXB said passenger traffic grew by almost 20 per cent in the last four weeks, thanks to changes in travel restrictions in key global markets in recent months, generating renewed confidence in the prospects of international travel.

The world's busiest international airport expects this surge towards the recovery of the industry to continue during the final quarter of 2021 on the back of Expo 2020, the Dubai Airshow 2021 and the annual rush of travellers during the winter months.

DXB recorded 581,972 tonnes of freight in the Q3, bringing the total volume for the first nine months of 2021 to 1.7 million tonnes, a year on year increase of 25.3 per cent. Cargo continued its impressive performance in the third quarter, with volumes hovering around 2019 levels throughout.

Flight movements in Q3 surged to 56,266 at DXB, propelling the number of flight movements recorded between January and September to 155,706, up 17.1 per cent.

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