Dubai International’s monthly passenger traffic has surpassed the 4.5 million mark for the second month in a row, according to a monthly passenger report released by Dubai Airports.
Passenger traffic surged 19 per cent in February – a 16 month high – to reach 4,561,147 passengers compared to 3,831,385 recorded in the same month in 2011. This follows the airport’s record traffic of over 4.8 million passengers in January, propelling the year to date passenger traffic by 16.4 per cent to 9,413,286.
The AGCC continued to top the list of regions with the largest increase in total passenger numbers in February which was up 150,643 passengers, followed by the Indian subcontinent (up 140,322), Western Europe (up 136,320), and Africa (up 110,561 passengers). The downward trend on Middle Eastern routes continued in February (-23,804 passengers) because of the instability in the region.
In terms of percentage passenger growth, South America has remained the strongest market up 151.4 per cent owing to Emirates Airline’s new routes to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, followed by Russia and CIS (up 41.7 per cent) mainly due to the expansion of flydubai operations.
The launch of Emirates Airline’s flights to the African destinations of Lusaka and Harare in February has driven Africa up the list (35.9 per cent), closely followed by Australasia (up 29 per cent) and Eastern Europe (up 28 per cent).
Dubai International recorded a total of 27,058 aircraft movements during the month under review, up 9.8 per cent compared to 24,646 last February. The year to date movements stood at 56,738, up 9 per cent compared to 50,031 recorded during the first two months in 2011.
After months of weak performance, cargo volumes surged 6.5 per cent to 157,492 tonnes compared to 147,937 tonnes in February last year, mainly due to the impact of the Chinese New Year on freight volumes in February 2011, as well as the ongoing expansion of Emirates route network which stimulates the flow of cargo through Dubai.
The extra day in February 2012, on account of the leap year, also contributed to Dubai International’s overall performance.
“February marks the twelfth consecutive month with passenger traffic exceeding the four million mark, and with the growth expected to maintain momentum in the coming months we are well on track to achieve the targeted 56.5 million passenger traffic for 2012,” explains Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“The completion of the Concourse 3 project by the end of 2012 is in line with this forecast and will expand Dubai International’s capacity at the right time, ensuring that our growth continues unhindered.”
The airport currently has an annual capacity of 60 million passengers, increasing to 75 million passengers by next year with the opening of Concourse 3, the world’s first A380 facility dedicated for use by Emirates Airline. Dubai International is the fourth-busiest airport worldwide for international passenger and cargo traffic.