Passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) has grown by almost 20 per cent in the last four weeks to reach 20.7 million in the year to date to October. This is the result of the changes in travel restrictions in key global markets in recent months which is generating renewed confidence in the prospects of international travel.
The world’s busiest international airport is expecting this surge towards the recovery of the industry to continue during the final quarter of 2021 as the combined impact of the relaxation of global restrictions on travel, the opening of Expo 2020 Dubai and Dubai Airshow 2021 and the annual rush of travelers seeking to enjoy Dubai’s fabulous climate, beaches and hospitality during the winter months take effect.
“It’s been a steady journey of recovery for DXB, and while we are still a long way from pre-pandemic levels of traffic, we are encouraged to see this significant increase in the rate of passenger growth which continues to endorse our position as the world’s largest international airport.
”Our performance to date has led the global recovery in all aspects of aviation activity and the growing ability of countries around world to manage the global pandemic is allowing travel restrictions to be lifted. This has given travelers both the confidence and freedom to plan long-awaited journeys with ease. Significant market developments such as the UK’s vaccination-based travel program, the resumption of flights to several important destinations in Australasia and the relaxation of restrictions for travel between India and the USA have all contributed to an upward revision in our forecast for the year by an additional 2 million passengers to 28.7 million,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
He added that it was in response to this sustained increase in demand that the final piece of aviation infrastructure at DXB that was hibernated in response to the global pandemic, Concourse A, is being prepared for reopening before the end of November 2021, putting DXB back to 100 per cent capacity after 20 months of reduced operations.
DXB’s passenger volumes in the third quarter totaled 6.7 million. DXB is currently serving 83 per cent of the destinations in 99 per cent of the countries on 108 per cent of the airlines compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cargo continued its impressive performance in the third quarter, as DXB recorded 581,972 tonnes of freight in the Q3, bringing the total volume for the first nine months of 2021 to 1.7 million tonnes, a year on year increase of 25.3 per cent.
Flight movements in Q3 surged to 56,266 at DXB, propelling the number of flight movements recorded between January and September to 155,706, up 17.1 per cent.
South Asia retained its rank as DXB’s largest contributor of traffic led by India (2.8 million pax) and Pakistan (1 million pax). Egypt was ranked third with 753,000 passengers, followed closely by the US (710,000 pax) and Turkey (598,000 pax). Other destination countries of note include Ethiopia, Russia and Saudi Arabia. The top three cities by traffic were Cairo (634,000 pax), Istanbul (576,000 pax) and Addis Ababa (573,000 pax).