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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

DWC passenger numbers take off in Q3 thanks to uptick in Sofia flights

The airport south of Dubai welcomed 119,000 customers

Top destinations from DWC are Beirut and Amman. Bloomberg
Top destinations from DWC are Beirut and Amman. Bloomberg

Passenger numbers took off at Dubai World Central airport, up 26.1 per cent in the third quarter and propelled by an increase in flights and seat capacity mainly to Sofia and cities across Germany.

The airport south of Dubai welcomed 119,000 customers during the period, bringing the total number to 637,176 in the first nine months of this year, a drop of 1.9 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The top destinations during the third quarter were Beirut (20,566 passengers), Amman (16,216 passengers) and Katowice (10,247 passengers).

The spike in traffic during the third quarter was mainly the result of increased seat capacity on Wizz Air’s route to Sofia and contribution from Condor’s charter services to multiple cities across Germany.

The airlines operate an average of 21 weekly flights to six international destinations. DWC is also home to 20 cargo operators that fly to as many as 45 destinations around the world. The year-to-date cargo tonnage was 729,611, up 3.5 per cent over the same period last year.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, DWC forecasts a larger influx of customers due to the seasonal rush of tourists typically seen during the winter months. The growth will be underpinned by the launch of new services from scheduled and charter carriers including daily flights to Moscow by Aeroflot and Pegas Fly (Ikar Airlines) beginning charter services from multiple destinations in Russia.

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Dubai Airports manages the operation and development of both of Dubai’s airports – DWC and Dubai International Airport (DXB).

DXB saw 7.2 million customers pass through its doors in September as traffic at the world’s busiest international hub rose with the fastest growing inflows coming from North America and Africa.

It was the sixth time this year that DXB’s monthly traffic surpassed the 7 million mark, helping finish off the third quarter with 23.8 million travellers, up 1.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Last month, DXB rolled out technology that is expected to replace immigration officers by 2020. The system uses face recognition technology to identify passengers, allowing them to complete immigration procedures in just 15 seconds without having their passport stamped.

For now, only business and first-class passengers can use the facilities.