Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport reaches 7.2 million record in August

Dubai International Airport reported a record 7.2 million travellers in August, taking it closer to its annual projection of 79 million.

The figure was up 9.5 per cent from 6.64 million year-on-year. That brings the airport’s traffic for the first eight months of the year to 52.26 million, up 12.4 per cent. The record surge in passengers in the airport’s 55-year history was attributed to the inbound traffic of residents ahead of the new school term, and more flights and new routes from Emirates and flydubai.

The Indian subcontinent followed by western Europe and the Arabian Gulf accounted for the highest number of passengers. Among the fastest-growing markets were eastern Europe, North America, Russia and the CIS, and the Middle East.

This year, Emirates and flyduabi launched routes to Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Italy, India and Saudi Arabia.

Emirates also increased capacity on its Chicago, Dallas, Houston and San Francisco routes, and added daily flights to New York and Seattle this year.

On February 1, it will introduce the world’s longest flight and its first to Central America to Panama City, travelling 17 hours and 35 minutes. Currently running with 239 aircraft, it has pending orders for 269 more worth over US$128 billion.

Flydubai will launch flights to Russia, Eritrea and Kazakhstan in the fourth quarter. Arrivals from Russia and CIS countries increased by 12.9 per cent compared to same period last year at Dubai International, after a decline that started in the third quarter of last year.

The decline in Russian tourists to Dubai continued with a drop of about 40 per cent in the first half, according to Marc Bennett, the senior vice president for international operations at Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, although the average stay of Russian tourists remains 10 days.

“Our initiatives, along with the efforts by [destination management companies] will help assert the message that Dubai is an affordable destination for Russian outbound markets,” he said at a gathering of tour operators on Monday.

About 16 million tourists are expected in Dubai next year, he said. Last year, Dubai received 13.2 million tourists.

The busiest routes from Dubai International were London followed by Kuwait and Doha. Each aircraft carried on average 217 passengers, which is among the highest for international hubs, according to the airport officials.

The volume of cargo handled last month rose 5.3 per cent year on year to 207,427 tonnes from 196,986 tonnes.

Last year, Emirates was the only Middle Eastern carrier to rank in the top five in terms of cargo volumes handled globally. It ranked third, carrying 2.3 million tonnes. The list was led by Federal Express with 7.1 million tonnes of cargo.

“[Dubai International Airport] has welcomed over 700 million passengers in its five-and-a-half decade history, clocking an unparalleled average growth rate of over 15 per cent,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports.

This week, Abu Dhabi airport reported a record 2.2 million travellers in August.


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