Dubai International, the world's second busiest airport for international passengers, racked up another month of double-digit growth in May, with an 18.9 per cent increase in passenger numbers, according to a traffic report issued by the operator, Dubai Airports, on Wednesday.
Passenger traffic in May reached 5,218,832, an increase of 18.9 per cent compared to the corresponding month in 2012. With May being the sixth consecutive month the airport has recorded passenger numbers exceeding 5 million, the year to date traffic is up by 16.8 per cent to 27,124,195 compared with 23,216,893 during the first five months of 2012.
As a result of Emirates Airline's and flydubai's expanding network, Western Europe topped the list of regions with the largest increase in total passenger numbers (+208,393), followed by the AGCC (+189,810), and the Indian sub-continent (+131,364). Following the launch of flights by Qantas in May after the airline's tie-up with Emirates, Australia was the fastest growing destination with 50 per cent growth in traffic and Saudi Arabia a close second (40 per cent) thanks to the post liberalisation boom in the Kingdom's aviation sector.
India remained the top destination country in terms of total passenger numbers, which reached 728,259 in May. In terms of percentage growth in passenger numbers, Eastern Europe remained the strongest market (87.3 per cent), followed by Australasia (45.6 per cent) and Asia Pacific (29.5%).
Dubai International recorded a total of 31,121 aircraft movements in the same period, up by 10 per cent compared to May 2012. The year to date (end of May) movements increased by 6.9 per cent to 152,720. Average "passengers per aircraft movement", which is an indicator of airport efficiency and fleet mix, rose by 4.9 per cent, mainly due to the increased numbers of Emirates airline A380s.
Growth in freight continued at Dubai International, increasing in May by 11.9 per cent. Cargo volumes during the first five months also surged 11.6 per cent, reaching 994,817 tonnes, compared to 891,464 tonnes during the corresponding period in 2012.
"We have managed ten straight months of double-digit growth but it is going to get busier as the annual summer travel season coincides with the Holy Month of Ramadan. In anticipation of the rush, we have launched a number of initiatives, including re-routing some of the ground transportation and increasing the airport's seating capacity," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
As part of the move, all buses will be re-routed to the car-park check-in to free up the forecourt at Terminal 3, while seating at Concourse B has been increased by 30 per cent. Dubai Airports has also increased the number of recently introduced Smart eGates at Terminal 3 and automatic tray return machines have been introduced at security check areas with a view to easing the flow of passengers.