DXB passenger traffic surges 12.8% in September
Dubai International recorded double-digit growth in passenger numbers in September, according to the monthly traffic report issued today by airport operator Dubai Airports.
Passenger traffic in September surged 12.8% to reach 4,780,394 compared to 4,236,587 recorded during the same month in 2011. The strong performance during the first nine months – seven of which recorded double-digit growth – has boosted the year to date traffic by 13.4% to 42,565,340 compared to 37,547,744 recorded during the corresponding period last year.
Western Europe recorded the largest increase in total passenger numbers* in September (+170,934 passengers), followed by the Indian subcontinent (+96,734), the AGCC (+63,226 passengers), and Africa (+58,104 passengers). Contraction in traffic on Middle Eastern routes continued in September (-7,747) as a result of the ongoing situation in certain parts of the region.
The strongest markets in terms of percentage passenger growth were South America (+106.3 per cent) driven by new Emirates airline’s operations to destinations there, followed by Russia and CIS (+27.7%), Australasia (20.6% ) and North America (+20.1%) as both demand and capacity increased on routes to Dallas, Seattle and Washington that were launched during the year.
Aircraft movements in September increased by 3.9% to 27,909 from 26,860 recorded during the same month in 2011. The year to date movements totalled 253,973, up 6.2% to 239,243 movements between January and September 2011.
Dubai International handled 193,261 tonnes of cargo in September, an increase of 9.1% over 177,128 tonnes recorded during the same period in 2011 and marks the highest monthly increase since October 2010. The year to date freight volumes reached 1,674,997 tonnes compared to 1,610,398 tonnes handled during the corresponding period last year, an increase of 3.7%.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: “So far it’s been a very good year for Dubai Airports and we have had a great start to the last quarter with a rush of travellers attending a number of international events such as the recently concluded Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj, the World Energy Forum and the ongoing Eid in Dubai celebrations. With the Emirates airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and Dubai International Film Festival lined up in Dubai’s calendar over the next two months, we expect to see the robust growth continue through the remainder of the year.”
Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: “Traffic growth at Dubai International Airport shows no sign of abating and with a year to date rise in passenger traffic by over 13%, the airport will easily smash through the 50m passenger record set last year. It's likely the airport will get very close to, if not exceed the 60m passenger mark.
“Despite economic uncertainty in Europe and the United States, Dubai Airport has leveraged its unique geographic location to its advantage, thanks in part to the continued expansion of Emirates. Low cost airlines too, like flydubai, have played their part in swelling Dubai Airports numbers, although a slight monthly fall in GCC traffic as a result of instability in Syria and other countries means that overall, the airport is still pulling in travellers from all corners of the globe.”
Ahmad added: “Freight traffic too is slowly showing signs of improvement with a 3.7% increase in freight tonnage year to date, although the wider cargo market still remains largely flat due to economic weakness and a greater emphasis on sea freight due to lower costs. Overall, Dubai Airport's continued impressive growth underlines just how important growing infrastructure in the city has become. With passenger services due to start next summer at Al Maktoum International Airport, the need to expand here and get it fully operational, as well as work towards completing the five runway giant airport will take on a new sense of urgency, particularly as incumbents like Emirates and flydubai continue their relentless expansion."