Dubai International, the aviation and cargo centre of the Middle East and the world’s emerging hub, was the world’s fastest growing airport in 2007 in terms of international passenger throughput with a growth of 19.31 per cent.
The airport handled a total of 34.34 million passengers, well over the projected 33 million for the year.
The record growth is likely to propel Dubai International higher on ACI’s (Airports Council International) list of the world’s busiest airports (in terms of international passengers). In 2006 Dubai International was ranked 10 on the list with a passenger throughput of 28.78 million.
The high growth rate in passenger throughput registered in 2007 means that for the sixth consecutive year, Dubai International has maintained an average growth rate of well over 15 per cent.
In 2007, August was the busiest month for the airport in terms of passenger figures with 3.28 million passengers, while October recorded the highest growth rate at 29.92 per cent. For the first time in the airport’s history, monthly passenger throughput crossed the 3 million mark thrice during the year, while it was above 2.5 million for each of the remaining nine months. The average passenger movement per day at Dubai International is 95,000.
The overall growth in 2007 resulted in increased aircraft movement at Dubai International, registering an increase of 9.81 per cent. The airport handled a total of 260,530 movements in 2007 as against 237,258 in 2006. The busiest period for the airport in terms of aircraft movement was in December with over 23,309 aircraft movements. On an average, there are 725 aircraft movements per day at Dubai International.
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) and Chairman of Dubai Airports, said ‘Dubai International’s growth is a reflection of Dubai’s robust economy, and its rising popularity as an international commercial and tourism hub. It is also a clear sign of our intent and vision for the future of the aviation sector in Dubai.’
‘Dubai International’s continuing success is a result of the dedication and teamwork of one and all at Dubai Airports and our strategic partners, and an achievement for all of us to take pride in,’ he said. Sheikh Ahmed added that passenger throughput at Dubai International is expected reach 40 million in 2008.
Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said, ‘While the airport’s record growth in 2007 is an accomplishment, it is also the source of the many future challenges we at Dubai Airports must prepare for. As a commercial entity, Dubai Airports intends to further speed up the overall growth rate of Dubai International, and, in the near future, of Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International, while at the same time improving our customer service levels.’
He added, ‘The opening of the new Terminal and associated facilities later this year means we will have the operational capacity to handle the increasing passenger throughput at Dubai International. Meanwhile we are currently working to maximize the use of our physical infrastructure to optimise the airport’s performance.’
Mohammed Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and CEO, Air Traffic Services (ATS), said one of the major reasons behind Dubai International’s sustaining a high growth rate for over half a decade is Dubai’s open skies policy.
‘We have had new airlines joining us periodically, thanks to Dubai’s envious position as the region’s best connection, and our destination network has also expanded rapidly especially in recent years. In 2007 the list of airlines serving Dubai rose to 120, seven more than in 2006, while our network now has 205 destinations,’ he added.