Dubai Airports announced its March traffic results for Dubai International earlier, reporting a 5.8 per cent increase in year-on-year passenger numbers and a 3.7 per cent contraction in international freight volumes.
During March, 4.2 million passengers passed through the world’s fourth busiest airport for international passenger traffic, up 5.8 per cent compared to 3.97 million during the same month in 2010.
Aircraft movements for the month totalled 27,674 in March 2011, up 6.3 per cent from 26,037 recorded in March 2010.
During the first quarter of 2011, 12.3 million passengers passed through the airport, up 7.0 per cent from 11.5 million during the first three months of 2010.
The largest increases in total passenger numbers in March were recorded on routes to and from AGCC (+137,255 passengers), Indian subcontinent (+84,300 passengers), Asia Pacific (+25,071) and Russia and CIS (+21,165 passengers).
Passenger totals on Middle Eastern routes dropped 23,240 while a decline of 24,402 passengers was recorded on African routes as traffic was affected by political unrest in those regions.
In terms of percentage passenger traffic growth, Eastern Europe saw an almost four-fold increase due to new services albeit from a small base, Russia & CIS passenger numbers rose 19 per cent as a result of flydubai’s ongoing expansion into that region and North American traffic volumes increased ten per cent as Emirates doubled the frequencies to Houston and Los Angeles year-on-year.
International airfreight volumes sagged 3.7 per cent at Dubai International in March as traffic dropped from 193,054 tonnes in the same period in 2010 to 185,921 tonnes.
The decline is largely attributed to the air cargo traffic boom seen in 2010 as the global economy rebounded from the 2009 downturn spiking freight volumes as companies across the globe cleared inventories.
During the first quarter of 2011 air cargo volumes are down 2.2 per cent as Dubai International handled 507,282 tonnes versus 518,636 tonnes recorded during the same period last year.
“Passenger traffic growth continues to be robust. At the current levels we are on track to exceed 50 million passengers this year,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.