Following its busiest month and year on record, Dubai International has taken over as the world’s third ranked airport for international passenger numbers, vaulting ahead of Hong Kong International Airport in the global rankings.
According to the annual traffic report issued today by Dubai Airports, passenger traffic surged 13.2 per cent to 57,684,550 in 2012, up from 50,977,960 passengers recorded during 2011.
The 2012 passenger traffic also exceeded Dubai Airports’ forecast at the start of the year of 56.5 million by more than one million passengers.
The year-end numbers were bolstered by a record 5,320,961 passengers in December 2012, 13.4 per cent higher than the 4,690,726 passengers recorded in December 2011 and the second month in Dubai International’s 52 year history that passenger traffic has exceeded five million passengers.
Aircraft movements for 2012 reached 344,245 movements, up 5.5 per cent from the 326,318 movements recorded in 2011.
Freight volumes rebounded towards the end of last year, helping total volumes for 2012 rise 3.9 per cent to 2,279,624 tonnes from 2,194,264 tonnes recorded in 2011.
In December, cargo volumes climbed 6.5 per cent from 189,593 tonnes in December 2011 to 201,949 tonnes in December 2012.
“Moving into the top three is a fantastic achievement for Dubai International and we now have London’s Heathrow and the number one spot firmly within our sights.
“The opening of Concourse A, the world’s first purpose-built A380 facility, has given us the room to maintain our strong growth into the new year, with a forecast of 65.4 million passengers in 2013,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.
“However, our rapid growth is not without its challenges and we will use the breathing room created by the phased opening of Concourse A to stress test every aspect of our service in the next year and put in place long-term processes that will put Dubai International on track to becoming the best airport in the world in addition to being the busiest,” concluded Griffiths.