Dubai International Airport reports 6.9% hike in passengers in October

DXB on track to meet forecast 89 million passengers for 2017, says chief executive Paul Griffiths

Dubai International remains on course for a record-breaking 2017. Stephen Lock / The National
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Dubai International Airport (DXB), the emirate’s main airport, received more than 6.8 million passengers in October, an increase of 6.9 per cent from the same month last year, operator Dubai Airports said.

DXB recorded 6,865,296 passengers last month compared to 6,420,208 in October 2016, driven by continued passenger flows to and from India and the UK.

During the month, London was the top destination city out of Dubai with 327,400 passengers, followed by Mumbai with 219,512 and New Delhi with 184,754.

India was the top destination country out of Dubai, with 1,009,005 passengers, followed by the UK (525,896) and Saudi Arabia (407,262), according to Dubai Airports’ latest monthly passenger update.

“The third quarter has begun on a very positive note for DXB and with the hub on track to achieve our forecast 89 million passengers for the year, our focus will be on continuing to maintain customer service quality and overall airport experience,” said Dubai Airports’ chief executive Paul Griffiths.

South America witnessed the highest year-on-year growth in passenger numbers in and out of DXB, at 39.9 percent, followed by Eastern Europe with 23.5 per cent. The latter was mainly driven by Russia where DXB connects passengers to 13 destinations, as well as Croatia, Dubai Airports said. Asia saw 20.3 per cent year-on-year propelled by new routes to and from China and Thailand.

Year to date, passenger numbers at DXB rose 5.9 percent to 73,433,846, compared to 69,366,094 during the first ten months of 2016, Dubai Airports said.


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There was a 5.8 per cent drop in overall flight movements in October, to 33,257 compared to 35,314 during the same month last year, while year-to-date flight movements were also down, to 340,940, from 348,893 over the same period last year, a drop of 2.3 per cent. Dubai Airports noted that these comparative figures have been restated “due to data validation exercise and/or update in methodology”.

However, the average number of passengers per flight was up by 11.6 per cent to 213 last month, compared to 191 in October last year.

“This signals more use of A380s by dominant operator Emirates as well as fuller cabins on [Emirates’] 777-300ERs, which is in tandem with its financial turnaround announced in earlier in November,” said Saj Ahmad, senior analyst at Strategic Aero Research.

Freight volumes were down 1.8 per cent, Dubai Airports said; DXB handled freight totalling 231,805 tonnes compared to 236,169 tonnes during October 2016. However, year-to-date cargo volumes, grew by 2.9 per cent to 2,189,824 tonnes from 2,127,589 tonnes recorded during the same period last year.

“Dubai International’s continued rise in monthly traffic comes as little surprise,” Mr Ahmad added. “Europe in particular leads the way for traffic out of Dubai and its evident that the likes of Emirates are keen to continue expansion here – especially in the wake of the Air Berlin collapse, which has partly led Emirates to deploy all A380s on its Frankfurt services from 2018.

“With over 73.4 million passengers handled to date, the airport is almost certain to set new records again in 2017.”