Dubai airport passenger traffic passes new record in January despite Russian dip

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport, which overtook London’s Heathrow last year as the world’s busiest airport for international passenger business, rose 7.7 per cent to a record in January, the airport’s operator said on Monday.

Passenger numbers climbed to 6.90 million in January from 6.40 million a year earlier, Dubai Airports said in a statement. Eastern European routes saw the fastest expansion of traffic, followed by North America.

Russia and CIS recorded fewer visitors with traffic dropping by 22.7 per cent due to the political and economic instability in the region, while traffic on Australasian routes also registered a marginal dip of 1.6 per cent.

Freight volume fell 5.5 per cent from a year earlier to 186,230 tonnes because of last year’s shift of dedicated cargo operations to Dubai’s other international airport, Al Maktoum International.

“The opening of Concourse D later this year will increase our annual capacity to 90 million passengers and make sure we can continue to accommodate the increasing number of travellers who choose to fly through DXB,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports. “It is also a strong endorsement for our $7.8bn SP2020 expansion plan which will allow us to remain one step ahead of our expected growth by increasing our capacity both on the ground as well as in the air.”

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