Dubai sees record passenger traffic in 2011
Dubai, January 24, 2012
Dubai International Airport registered another record year for passenger traffic with its 2011 passenger numbers reaching an historic 50.98 million, up 8 per cent over the 47.2 million passengers the year before.
According to the annual traffic report issued on Tuesday by Dubai Airports, the December passenger traffic hit 4.69 million, an increase of 10.2 per cent compared to 4.26 million recorded during the same month in 2010.
Aircraft movements totalled 29,519 in December, an increase of 7.7 per cent from the 27,398 registered during the same period last year and 326,317 for the full year up 6.2 per cent versus 2010.
The average passenger numbers per passenger aircraft movement remained flat at 184 compared to 185 during 2010 as the airport continues to benefit from the efficiencies offered by the large number of wide-body jets that operate into it, said the Dubai Airports report.
During 2011, 28 new passenger destinations were added while 17 were discontinued boosting overall passenger destinations served by Dubai International to 215 compared to 204 just one year ago.
The strongest markets served in terms of total passenger numbers included India, UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar, Germany and the US.
The most significant percentage traffic growth during the year was seen on routes linking Dubai to Eastern Europe (over 81 per cent), Russia & CIS (over 30.5 per cent) AGGC (over 26.5 per cent) and North America (over 16.1 per cent).
Commenting on the growth, Paul Griffiths, the Dubai Airports CEO said, “Recording 51 million passengers in our 51st year of operations may be somewhat coincidental but it speaks volumes of the momentum building at one of the world’s fastest growing international hubs.”
'In a year that was characterised by economic uncertainty, political instability and high oil prices passenger growth continued unabated driven by new routes and additional frequencies as airlines capitalised on Dubai’s attractiveness as a business and tourism destination and efficiency as a transfer hub,' he remarked.
'That trend will continue in 2012 with our two largest airlines – Emirates and flydubai – are set to receive additional aircraft throughout the year,' he added.
The air freight traffic rebounded slightly in December to 189,593 tonnes, reflecting a modest increase of 0.8 per cent compared to the 188,103 tonnes handled during the same period last year, said the report.
However, the full 2011cargo volumes fell 1.5 per cent to 2.19 million tonnes from the 2.22 tonnes recorded the year before, it added.
The cargo traffic was impacted by economic uncertainty in Europe and the US which eroded consumer confidence and led to a drop in exports, notably from Asia.
According to Griffiths, Dubai Airports will invest $7.8 billion in airport expansion to boost the current capacity from 60 million passengers per year to 90 million passengers by 2018.
This is mainly to accommodate the anticipated growth in 2012 and beyond, he explained.
The next significant step in those expansion plans will be the completion of Concourse 3, the world’s largest dedicated A380 facility, scheduled for the end of 2012, he added.
“Aviation is big business in Dubai supporting 250,000 jobs and $22 billion in economic activity or 28 per cent of GDP,” remarked Griffiths.
“By investing in the expansion of airport infrastructure, those contributions are expected to grow to 372,900 jobs and $45.4 billion in economic activity or 32 per cent of GDP by 2020 according to international research firm Oxford Economics. That is a remarkable return on investment,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service