Dubai International shatters passenger traffic record in January

Our projections indicate 2012 traffic totals will reach 56.5 million, obliterating last year’s record of 51 million
Paul Griffiths
Dubai Airports

UAE. Dubai International Airport handled 4.85 million passengers in January, a surge of +14% on a year earlier, and a new monthly record. It surpassed the previous high of 4.72 million set in July 2011.

The increase is the largest month-on-month rise in 14 months. This performance brings Dubai International’s rolling 12-month passenger numbers to 51.57 million and builds on the historic 50.98 million passengers recorded in 2011.

The Gulf states continued to top the list of regions with the largest increase in total passenger numbers in January (+203,219 passengers), followed by Western Europe (+100,902), the Indian subcontinent (+92,855 passengers), and Russia and the CIS (+77,454 passengers). Middle Eastern routes continued the downward trend in the new year (-4,747 passengers) owing to ongoing unrest in the region, while traffic on African routes surged after months of weak performance (+34,909 passengers).

Spurred by the launch of Emirates Airline’s new routes to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, South America was the strongest market in terms of percentage passenger growth in January (+71.4%), followed by Russia and CIS (+57.3%) driven by the expansion of Dubai’s low cost carrier flydubai in the region, and the AGCC (+36.9%) as a result of growth in Saudi Arabian traffic. Eastern Europe (20.6%) and Australasia (16.7%) also achieved high growth rates.

Total aircraft movements for Dubai International rose 8.4% to 29,680 compared to 27,385 last January.

“It is fitting that we started a record-breaking year with record monthly passenger numbers. Our projections indicate 2012 traffic totals will reach 56.5 million, obliterating last year’s record of 51 million,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “The fantastic start to the year is partially due to the traffic surge caused by the holiday season, the recently concluded Dubai Shopping Festival and the expansion of the hub network.”

Dubai International is the fourth-busiest airport worldwide for international passenger and cargo traffic. The opening of Concourse 3, the A380 facility dedicated for use by Emirates Airline, will take Dubai International’s capacity next year from 60 million to 75 million.

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