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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Dubai Airport passenger traffic rises to 7 million in November

Saudi Arabia climbed to the second spot in terms passenger numbers for the first time in months

Dubai International was the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic in 2016, when it recorded 83.6 million passengers. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP
Dubai International was the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic in 2016, when it recorded 83.6 million passengers. GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP

Passenger traffic to the Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest for international travel, reached close to seven million in November, boosted by an inflow of tourists from Indian subcontinent and western Europe, Dubai Airports said on Thursday.

Passenger numbers rose by 5.6 per cent to reach 6,953,596 over a year-earlier period, Dubai Airports said on Thursday. In the first eleven months of last year, passenger traffic rose 5.8 per cent to 80,387,442 compared with 75,947,899 for the same period in 2016.

Saudi Arabia climbed to the second spot in terms of passenger numbers for the first time in months, with 534,906 travelling to Dubai in November, overtaking the UK which registered 507,796 in traffic.

“Over the past year, Dubai International has witnessed consistent growth in terms of passenger traffic,” said Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports chief executive.

"Given the high passenger traffic volumes we welcomed in December we anticipate ending the year on a positive note.”

Dubai International, which welcomed 83.6 million passengers in 2016, receives much of the region’s transit traffic and is home to Emirates, the world's largest long-haul airline.

An uptick in passenger traffic in the UAE and the Middle East region overall will help regional carriers double their profit to US$600 million in 2018, with demand expected to outpace announced capacity expansion, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Passenger numbers from the Indian subcontinent and western Europe dominated traffic in November, with more than 1.5 million passengers from each region. Their numbers rose by 7.5 per cent year-on-year and 8 per cent year-on-year respectively, with London and India’s commercial hub Mumbai emerging as the top cities.

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India remained the top destination country for Dubai International, with 999,625 travellers.

Flight movement figures for the airport were down 3.7 per cent year-on-year, however average number of passengers per flight rose 7.3 per cent year-on-year.

Freight volumes hanlded at Dubai International increased by 0.4 per cent year-on-year during November, while cargo volumes were up 2.7 per cent year-on-year to nearly 2.5 million during the first 11 months of 2017.