Dubai Airports is projecting robust growth for Dubai International (DXB) in the second half of the year after the airport clocked 10.6 million passengers in the first six months of 2021, a year on year contraction of 40.9 per cent, despite travel restrictions affecting its key source markets throughout the second quarter.
“In anticipation of the robust recovery of global air travel, we started the second half on a high note by re-opening Terminal 1 and Concourse D – the home terminal for our 60 international carriers, after 15 months of hibernation to accommodate the seasonal rush of travelers over the summer holidays. This was essential to facilitate the continued expansion of the route networks of our home base carriers Emirates and flydubai, whose joint network spans 168 destinations and growing. We have already witnessed some of our busiest weekends of the year in July, and with major international events such as the Dubai Expo 2020 and Dubai Airshow 2021 lined up for the months ahead, the outlook for 2021 in terms of passenger numbers looks very promising,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Griffiths added that the UK’s recent decision to move the UAE to the ‘Amber list’ and the UAE’s conditional lifting of travel restrictions for passengers arriving from four countries in the Indian Subcontinent as well as Nigeria and Uganda are major developments that will significantly boost DXB’s international traffic while enabling social and economic recovery.
However, he also stated that the campaign to safely relax restrictions on global air travel will continue apace, in recognition of the UAE’s world-leading vaccination programme and successful management of the global pandemic.
According to the latest figures issued by Airports Council International (ACI), DXB remains the world’s busiest airport for international passengers after retaining the title for the seventh consecutive year for annual traffic in 2020. DXB holds a significant lead over other international airports and has nearly twice the passenger traffic as the next busiest international hub the in the Middle East.
Dubai Airport is currently serving 68 per cent of the destinations in 94 per cent of the countries on 70 per cent of the airlines compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
India continued to be DXB’s top destination country by traffic volume in the first half with passenger numbers exceeding 1.9 million. Pakistan was second with 700,074 customers, followed by Russia (406,209 pax) and Egypt (401,361 pax). Other destination countries of note include Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and the US. The top three cities by traffic were Addis Ababa (354,804 pax), followed by Cairo (345,886 pax) and Moscow (344,175).