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Dubai International Airport was used by more than five million passengers last month. Jeff Topping / The National
Dubai International Airport was used by more than five million passengers last month. Jeff Topping / The National

Eastern Europeans flood into Dubai as monthly airport figures top 5 million

The number of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport last month, again broke the five million barrier, according to February traffic report, released today.

The number of passengers passing through Dubai International Airport last month, again broke the five million barrier, according to Dubai Airports' February traffic report, released today.

A total of 5.08 million passengers used the airport, up 11.4 per cent from the same month in 2012, but marginally down on last month's 5.6 million passenger numbers, which themselves represented a 14.6 per cent increase, up from 4.85 million in January 2012.

"We continue to stay ahead of the curve in terms of our traffic forecast of 65.4 million passengers in 2013," said CEO Paul Griffiths. "We are also on track in terms of introducing capacity to meet demand.

"Concourse A is fully online and setting new standards for A380 service. Additionally, the expansion of Terminal 2 is proceeding on plan as is the upgrade of Terminal 1 and the construction of Concourse D. All three projects are integral elements of our $7.8 billion airport strategic plan to boost capacity and augment service levels over the next several years."

Aircraft movements reached 28,085 in February, climbing 3.8 per cent from the 27,058 recorded in February 2012. The figures were also slightly down on 31,332 movements in January, which were up 5.6 per cent from the 29,680 movements recorded in January 2012.

Average passengers per aircraft movement, which is an indicator of airport efficiency and fleet mix, totalled a record 201 up 4.4 per cent from the 193 passengers per movement registered in February 2012. The airport said the increase was due to the larger number Emirates Airline' A380s now in service.

Also, most January markets were boosted by holiday traffic as well as visitors to the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Regionally last month, Eastern Europe was the fastest-expanding market in terms of percentage growth, up 29.6 per cent on last February, driven by new services to Poland by Emirates, and Macedonia by flydubai.

On intercontinental routes, Asia Pacific was up 21.8 per cent, Russia & CIS by 18.5 per cent, and Asia by 15 per cent, due primarily to the additional Emirates daily service to Manila. The Middle East was the only region to record fewer travellers with a slight year-on-year drop of 1.6 per cent.

The top three destination countries in terms of market size, continued to show strong positive growth overall in February. Traffic on routes between Dubai International and it's largest market, the Indian Subcontinent, was up 10.8 per cent while the UK saw a 5.2 per cent traffic increase.

The number three market, Saudi Arabia continued its remarkable traffic growth with a 42.3 per cent increase compared to the same period last year thanks to expanded services between Dubai and Saudi Arabia launched in 2012 by Emirates, flydubai, nasair and Saudi Arabian Airlines, said Dubai Airports.

Freight volumes continued their resurgence in February, rising 15.9 per cent to 182,580 tonnes, up from 157,492 recorded in February 2012 confirming a return to more robust growth in cargo volumes at Dubai International, as air freight capacity into Dubai International increases and consumer confidence continues to improve globally.

The first two months of 2013 have shown cargo volumes are up 12.1 per cent to 370,099 tonnes compared to 331,023 tonnes during the same period last year.

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