Dubai International Airport (DXB) passenger traffic for the 12 months to the end of May totalled 88.23 million, a 2.6 per cent year-on-year rise, as one of the world's busiest airports remains on track to welcome 90 million passengers this year.
DXB welcomed a total of 36.94 million passengers in the first five months of this year, a marginal decline of 0.1 per cent from the same period last year cent, largely due to the impact of Ramadan, which fell in May this year, the operator Dubai Airports said in a statement on Thursday.
In May, The National reported that the world's busiest hub by international traffic, expects growth to accelerate in 2019, propelled by a partnership between its home airlines Emirates and flydubai.
Closer cooperation between the two airlines will boost the airport’s business, although the rate of growth will remain just shy of double-digits because of capacity constraints at the hub, Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said at the time, adding that the airport, in 2018, is on track to reach around 90 million passengers.
"Growth will be slightly more modest than it has been in the past but in 2019 we expect the traffic to pick up again," Mr Griffiths told The National. "It will be very, very substantial growth, certainly ahead of the norm of airports our size."
Dubai Airports on Thursday said passenger numbers for May came in at 6.59 million, a contraction of 3.8 per cent due to lower volumes traditionally experienced during the Ramadan. Average monthly traffic volumes, however, have remained high in 2018 at 7.4 million passengers, the operator said.
Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region in May with 19.4 per cent growth, thanks to expansion of routes to Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania and the launch of flydubai’s new services to Krakow in Poland. The CIS was the second-fastest region, growing at 11.3 per cent, followed by Africa which expanded 9.9 per cent with Nigeria and Egypt recording steep uptick during the month.
India was the top destination country with a total of 1.04 million passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 495,242, and the UK with 429,893 passengers. Top global cities in terms of passenger volumes were London with 262,913, Mumbai with 213,056 and Jeddah 179,756 passengers.
Flight movements during May review came in at 32,620 compared to 34,544 in the same month of 2017. The hub’s efficiency increased as the average number of passengers per flight was 209 during May, up 2 per cent compared to 205 from a year earlier. The year-to-date flight numbers fell to 168.979, a 3.5 per drop for the same period last year, the operator added.
DXB handled a total of 221,363 tonnes of cargo during May, down 4.9 per cent compared to 232,884 tonnes during the same month in 2017, while the year-to-date cargo volumes contracted 3.1 per cent from a year-earlier, it added.