Forthcoming winter airline schedules will catapult Dubai International Airport into the place of the world’s second busiest international airport, new analysis has shown.
The airport, which is the hub of Dubai-based Emirates, is currently the world’s fourth busiest, but the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) predicted this week that it will be second only to London Heathrow in terms of passenger traffic by November 2011.
That jump means overtaking Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Paris Charles de Gaulle, CAPA said August 26.
Dubai’s ambitious expansion plans are no secret – it’s currently building what’s expected to be the world’s largest airport (due for completion in 2017) and is also upgrading its current terminals in the meantime.
Dubai flag-carrier Emirates is also investing heavily in new planes and is the largest customer for the enormous A380 super-jumbo, which carries more passengers than any other aircraft.
But while Dubai International has made public its ambitions to be the world’s busiest airport by 2015, it appears to be edging closer to rival Heathrow, offering 1.3 million international seats in throughput in November 2011, compared to around 1.5 million for London Heathrow.
CAPA said that an upswing in seasonal flights from Gulf carriers, and the increasing numbers of passengers choosing to connect between Europe and Asia via Dubai, was responsible for the jump.
The size of an airport is normally judged using benchmarks such as aircraft movements, total number of passengers (domestic and international) or the number of seats on board aircraft heading to and from that destination.
Last year, aviation analyst OAG said that Beijing Airport had overtaken Heathrow as the world’s second busiest in terms of total seat capacity, although both were still behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, the world’s biggest by domestic and international seats.