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Dubai Airport passenger numbers soar

Dubai International Airport

August busiest month in airport’s history.

September 25, 2013 5:46 by

Dubai Airport enjoyed record-breaking passenger numbers of 5,999,375 in August, making it the busiest month in the international airport’s history.

According to a report released today, Dubai Airport experienced a year-on-year increase of 23.8 per cent, with monthly traffic exceeding five million passengers for nine consecutive months this year.

The surge is the result of a strong growth in nearly all of the markets and the effect of Ramadan and Eid, which further boosted traffic.

Spurred by strong growth in markets such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait, the GCC routes topped the list of regions with the largest growth in passenger numbers (+289,021), followed by Western Europe (+258,288), which has been positively affected by the launch of Qantas’ services to Dubai.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, says the results have been very satisfying so far, with the signs being “good” for the remainder of the year.

“While five million passengers per month has become a standard at Dubai International, it’s worth noting that in August we were barely two Airbus A380s short of hitting the six million passenger figure,” he adds.

Future plans

The highlight of the year, according to Griffiths, will be the launch of passenger operations at Al Maktoum International Airport.

In July, he said that the facility, which will start handling passengers in October, would eventually be capable of handling up to 200 million passengers.

As for Dubai International, the airport is undergoing a $7.8 billion expansion to raise its capacity to accommodate approximately 100 million passengers by 2020.

For now, the goal is to handle 75 million passengers by 2015 and become the world’s busiest and biggest airport, according to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports and Emirates Airline.

“This figure will help Dubai International Airport top the list of the busiest and biggest airports in the world in terms of international passenger capacity, overtaking London Heathrow,” he said in July.

IATA figures

According to revised figures from the International Air Transport Association today, Middle East carriers are expected to post profits of $1.6bn this year, marginally ahead of the $1.5bn previously estimated.

Passenger demand is expected to grow by 10.5 per cent, the strongest among all regions, according to the report, but this will be slightly outstripped by capacity growth of 11.3 per cent.

Middle East carriers are expected to post a $2.1bn profit in 2014 – the highest figure recorded.

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