Dubai International Airport said it has registered a 5.8 per cent increase in year-on-year passenger numbers and a 3.7 per cent contraction in international freight volumes in March this year.
Announcing the March traffic results, Dubai Airports said last month a total of 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. The aircraft movements for the month totalled 27,674, up 6.3 per cent from 26,037 recorded last year.
During the first quarter, 12.3 million passengers passed through the airport, up 7 per cent from 11.5 million during the first three months of 2010, the Dubai Airports said in a statement. The largest increases in passenger numbers were recorded on routes to and from AGCC (with over 137,255 passengers), Indian subcontinent (over 84,300 passengers), Asia Pacific (over 25,071) and Russia and CIS (over 21,165 passengers), the statement added. 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, it stated. 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 and CIS passenger numbers rose 19 per cent as a result of flydubai’s ongoing expansion into that region.
The North American traffic volumes too surged 10 per cent as Emirates doubled the frequencies to Houston and Los Angeles year-on-year. Commenting on the growth, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, ‘Passenger traffic growth continues to be robust. At the current levels we are on track to exceed 50 million passengers this year.’ According to him, 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, air cargo volumes fell 2.2 per cent as Dubai International handled 507,282 tonnes versus 518,636 tonnes recorded during the same period last year, he added.