Passenger traffic rebounds at Dubai airport after runway repairs

Passenger traffic was up 5.7 per cent to 46.47 million from January to August, compared with 43.97 million in the same period a year ago.

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Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport rebounded last month after nearly three months of slowdown because of runway repairs.

The airport reported a 10.8 per cent year-on-year increase in August to 6.6 million passengers, data from the operator Dubai Airports showed.

Just one runway was in operation for 80 days, reducing the capacity by 26 per cent.

“The numbers are far more indicative of the growth trend we expect to see for the remainder of the year,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports. “[It] will be crucial in our journey to the top of the list of the world’s busiest international hubs,” he added.

Passenger traffic was up 5.7 per cent to 46.47 million from January to August, compared with 43.97 million in the same period a year ago.

Eastern Europe was the fastest-growing region in August, followed by North America, South America and western Europe. North America showed the highest percentage growth at 28.9 per cent followed by Asia at 19.2 per cent, Dubai Airports said.

In terms of the largest growth by passenger numbers, the Indian subcontinent was at the top, followed by western Europe and other parts of Asia.

Air cargo also rebounded last month. The airport reported a 4.3 per cent increase reaching 192,902 tonnes, compared with 184,877 tonnes during the same month last year. Cargo volumes reached 1.56 million tonnes in the first eight months of the year, down 2.2 per cent from 1.59 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier.

Last year, Dubai International Airport ranked the fifth-busiest worldwide for cargo handling. Middle Eastern freight markets grew by 9.4 per cent in July, making the region one of the fastest growing globally, according to the International Air Transport Association.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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