Passenger traffic at Dubai International remained above the 5-million mark for the 19th straight month in July while maintaining its growth trend for the year so far, a report released by Dubai Airports today showed.
For the month of July, passenger numbers slipped 2.9 per cent to 5,155,771, from 5,310,361 passengers in July last year. Traffic was impacted by Dubai International being reduced to single runway for a period of 80 days from May 1 as the airport’s two runways were consecutively refurbished and upgraded. Both runways were reopened on July 21.
Passenger numbers rose to within a whisker of 40-million in the first seven months of the year, climbing 4.9 per cent to 39,831,861, up from 37,972,464 passengers recorded in the same period last year.
Regionally, Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region during July 2014, with passenger numbers surging 17.6 per cent, followed by North America (+8.8 per cent), South America (+4.5 per cent) and Western Europe (+3.9 per cent). The Indian subcontinent and Middle East showed declines as a result of reduced flights during the runway works.
In July Dubai International handled 25,081 aircraft movements, down 11.9 per cent from 28,462 in the same month in 2013. Year to date aircraft movements totalled 195,896 during the first seven months, down 7.3 per cent from the 211,373 movements recorded in the same period last year.
These declines were driven by the continued shift by home carrier Emirates airline’s to larger aircraft such as the Airbus A380 – taking average passengers per movement during July to 211, up 5 per cent from 201 at the same time last year. A 26 per cent reduction in the number of flight movements during the refurbishment programme also had an impact on the number of aircraft movements.
With all dedicated freighters moving to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central from May 1, both monthly and year-to-date cargo volumes at Dubai International registered a downturn. In July, cargo volumes reached 184,720 tonnes, down 10.7 per cent from the 206,945 tonnes achieved in the same month in 2013. Year to date cargo volumes reached 1,367,967 tonnes, down 3.1 per cent from 1,411,896 tonnes recorded in the first seven months of 2013.
“July was a story of two distinct halves. As anticipated, traffic continued to be impacted by the runway refurbishment programme in the first part of the month. But, crucially, July also marked the successful reopening of both Dubai International’s runways, just in time to accommodate the holiday rush in the last week of the month when we experienced some of the busiest days on record. We are back to business as usual at Dubai International,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“ Looking forward, with two newly upgraded runways which are able to accommodate even more aircraft, the airport is well placed to resume the growth we saw in the first four months of the year.”