By Shweta Jain, Senior Reporter www.gulfnews.com
Dubai: Dubai International Airport recorded an 8.9 per cent increase in passenger traffic in the first half of this year marking its busiest six months in 50 years.
A total of 24.6 million passengers passed through the airport from January to June compared to 22.6 million in the same period last year, the airport’s operator, Dubai Airports, said yesterday in a statement.
In June alone, Dubai International Airport handled a total of 4.07 million passengers, up 10.4 per cent from the 3.68 million in June 2010. The year to date daily average passenger throughput at the airport, meanwhile, reached 135,700 compared to 124,600 recorded during the first six months of 2010.
The strong numbers take the airport closer to achieving its 10-year goal of investing $7.8 billion (Dh28.8 billion) into expanding the existing Dubai International Airport which will see capacity increase from the current 60 million to 90 million passengers per year by 2018.
According to Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, the airport’s first-half numbers were boosted by the launch of over 200 new weekly flights to 19 new destinations across Asia, Europe and Africa by various airlines, including Emirates and flydubai.
As analyst Addison Schonland, a Partner at AirInsight, an aviation and aerospace consultancy focused on industry competitive intelligence, pointed out: “Of the 90 million passenger goal, these two airlines could account for 76 per cent of that number. The A380s alone could account for about a third.”
Dubai International Airport currently serves 150 airlines flying to over 220 destinations across six continents. “As the numbers clearly suggest, robust passenger traffic growth continues despite high fuel prices and growing economic uncertainty in Europe and the US,” Griffiths said in a statement. “This is being driven by the addition of new routes and frequencies, more wide-bodied aircraft as well as by the attractiveness of Dubai as a business and tourist destination and an efficient transit point.” More info