DXB remains busiest international airport in 2023

Dubai Airports recently forecast annual passenger traffic surpassing 2019 figures to reach 86.8 million in 2023


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 9:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 21 Dec 2023, 7:34 PM

Dubai International (DXB) remained the busiest international airport with 56.5 million seats in 2023, according to the latest figures released by aviation consultancy OAG.

The Middle East aviation hub, which was also the busiest international airport in 2022 and 2019 with seating capacity of 53.98 million and 45.27 million, respectively, recorded a 25 per cent increase in seats this year as compared to last year.

Dubai Airports recently forecast annual passenger traffic surpassing 2019 figures to reach 86.8 million in 2023, helped by strong growth throughout the first 9 months of 2023.

In the second half of 2023, average monthly traffic reached 7.6 million, tracking pre-pandemic levels throughout the third quarter. Dubai Airports projected record-breaking numbers to continue in the fourth quarter of 2023 and 2024 as well.

“We’re thrilled but not entirely surprised that DXB is all set to surpass the pre-pandemic milestone well ahead of our initial projections by almost a year. Our outlook for the remainder of this year and the next remains optimistic,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said in a statement earlier.

The travel and tourism sector has been one of the key drivers of the post-pandemic recovery and growth of the emirate due to the successful handling of the coronavirus disease.

According to OAG, London Heathrow Airport (LHR) came second with 46.5 million seats which is similar capacity to 2019 but an increase of 24 per cent compared to 2022. London’s Heathrow Airport was followed by Amsterdam Airport (37.17 million seats), Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (36.67 million seats), Singapore’s Changi International Airport (36.13 million), Istanbul Airport, Seoul Incheon International Airport, Frankfurt Airport, Doha International Airport and Madrid Adolfo Suarez-Barajas airport.

OAG said Dubai International has been ranked the world’s second busiest airport in 2023 with 56.5 million seats after Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) was named the world’s busiest airport with 61 million seats.

Dubai-Riyadh has been ranked the world’s 6th busiest route in 2023 with 3.99 million seats, slipping from the second position in 2022.

Here are all the rankings for 2023:

  1. Kuala Lumpur-Singapore – 4,891,952 seats
  2. Cairo-Jeddah – 4,795,712 seats
  3. Hong Kong-Taipei – 4,568,280 seats
  4. Seoul-Osaka – 4,218,484 seats
  5. Seoul-Tokyo – 4,155,418 seats
  6. Dubai-Riyadh –3,990,076 seats
  7. Jakarta-Singapore – 3,910,502 seats
  8. New York-London – 3,878,590 seats
  9. Bangkok-Singapore –3,478,474 seats
  10. Bangkok-Seoul –3,362,968 seats


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