Passenger numbers at Dubai International, voted “Middle East Leading Airport’s” by World Travel Awards, surpassed the four million mark for the second time in the airport’s 50 year history in October and that monthly total will soon become the norm, according to traffic results and projections released today by Dubai Airports.
Dubai Airports’ traffic statistics for October show that Dubai International handled a total of 4,013,127 passengers up 14.8 per cent from the 3,496,366 recorded during October last year. Year to date passenger numbers total 38,851,488 compared to the 33,565,105 recorded in the corresponding period in 2009, an increase of 15.7 per cent.
The largest increases in total passenger numbers during October were recorded on routes to and from Western Europe (+103,695 passengers), Indian subcontinent (+96,611 passengers), Asia (+74,322) and AGCC (+69,007). The largest percentage passenger traffic growth* was seen on routes to and from Eastern Europe (306 per cent), Russia (28 per cent) and Asia (28 per cent).
October air freight volumes rose 9.2 per cent to 202,984 tonnes compared to 185,868 tonnes recorded during the same period last year. Year to date cargo volumes total 1,888,619 tonnes up 21.6 per cent from the 1,552,748 tonnes recorded during the corresponding period in 2009.
Dubai Airports today also released its 2011 traffic forecast for Dubai International that projects passenger numbers will reach 52.2 million next year, up 13.1 per cent from the 46.1 million passengers expected to pass through the airport in 2010. Growth will be driven by a projected 10 per cent increase in Emirates passenger numbers and an anticipated doubling of flydubai traffic in 2011 as both airlines continue to expand their respective fleets and networks.
Cargo volumes are anticipated to exceed 2.2 million tonnes in 2011, an increase of 4.8 per cent over the 2.1 million tonnes forecast for 2010. This modest growth rate reflects a more stable cargo traffic environment following the double-digit expansion seen this year as the industry recovered from the 2009 economic downturn. The forecast air freight traffic growth continues to be in line with Dubai Airports’ projections for cargo volumes to exceed 3 million tonnes by 2015. Total aircraft movements are expected to grow by 12 per cent in 2011 to reach 328,900 movements.
“Our vision to manage the world’s top international airport is coming into focus,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “Over the past 50 years Dubai International has seen passenger numbers increase by an average 15.5 per cent annually. By the end of 2011 passenger numbers will have almost quadrupled in ten years from 13.5 million in 2001 to over 52 million. Before the end of the decade passenger numbers will approach 90 million making Dubai International the busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic.”
Dubai is ideally located four hours flying time from one-third of the world’s population and 12 hours from 80 per cent of the population. New aircraft types such as the A380 and B777 ER are effectively shrinking the globe and amplifying the attractiveness of Dubai’s strategic location for international and regional operations.
“Dubai’s aviation industry is thriving due to its liberal aviation policies, tax free environment, geo-centric location as well as its willingness to invest in top-flight infrastructure,” said Griffiths. “It is a formula that clearly works. Today we have more than 130 carriers serving 220 destinations on six continents and we are home to arguably the world’s most profitable airline. The challenge going forward is to ensure we have ample capacity in place to accommodate traffic growth.”
Concourse 3, set to become the world’s first dedicated A380 facility, will boost capacity from the current 60 million passengers annually to 75 million, which, when combined with other facility enhancements and operational efficiencies will boost capacity to 90 million by 2018.