Passenger traffic at Dubai International rose to 34,676,090 during the first half of 2014, up 6.2 per cent from the same period last year despite a runway refurbishment programme that reduced the airport to a one-runway operation and cut flights by over 26 per cent during May and June.
Dubai Airports today also released traffic results for June which showed a total of 5,067,726 passengers passed through Dubai International, the 18th consecutive month of more than 5 million passengers, down 8.5 per cent from the 5,537,908 passengers in June 2013.
A total of 22,031 aircraft movements was recorded during the month under review, down 27 per cent from the 30,191 movements recorded during June last year. The drop was a result of a planned reduction in flights as the airport was reduced to a single runway. In the first six months of the year 170,815 aircraft movements were recorded, down 6.6 per cent from the 182,911 in the first six months of 2013.
Passengers per aircraft movements rose 16.1 per cent to 235, from 202 during the same period last year as airlines, in particular Emirates, used larger aircraft.
The airport is now back to full operations with both runways reopening on July 21, 2014, paving the way for renewed growth towards the end of the year.
Regionally, the Americas reported strong growth during June this year with passenger traffic to North America growing 15.3 per cent and South America up 32 per cent. During the month London maintained its position as Dubai International’s busiest city destination, followed by Kuwait, Bombay, Doha and Jeddah.
With all dedicated freighters moving to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) as well as reduced passenger flights, cargo volumes in June dropped to 180,025 tonnes, down 14.3 per cent from the 210,134 tonnes recorded in June last year. In the first six months of 2014 freight volumes fell to 1,183,247 tonnes, down 1.8 per cent from the 1,204,951 tonnes recorded in the first half of last year.
“The first half numbers are impressive given the capacity reductions we put in place to allow us to conduct vital upgrades to both runways at our hub,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“However, this slight drag on our usual double-digit growth will be short-lived. The successful completion of the runway refurbishment comes just in time to accommodate the surge in passenger numbers expected with next week’s Eid holiday.”
Dubai International is expected to have its busiest days on record between July 24 and July 27. To meet this demand Dubai Airports have introduced extra staff and facilities to meet the increase and eliminate any potential delays.