x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

It’s official: Dubai International is world’s busiest airport

A total of 68.9 million passengers had passed through Dubai International compared with 67.8 million at London Heathrow as of December 22.

Dubai International Airport has overtaken London Heathrow. Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo
Dubai International Airport has overtaken London Heathrow. Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo

It’s official. Dubai International Airport has overtaken London Heathrow as the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic.

A total of 68.9 million passengers had passed through Dubai International compared with 67.8 million at Heathrow as of December 22, data from the Airports Council International showed.

DIA was at its busiest ever last week when it processed a record 638,317 passengers between December 18 and December 24, Dubai Airports said.

Figures from the airport operator for November, which were released this morning, showed that passenger traffic was up 4.3 per cent year-on-year to 5.5 million. Year-to-date traffic rose 5.9 per cent to 63.9 million passengers, compared with 60.3 million passengers recorded during the first 11 months of last year.

The rise in passenger numbers at DIA this year came despite the use of only a single runway for 80 days because of a refurbishment scheme that caused a temporary decline in flights.

“Given the traffic achieved in the first 11 months, together with some of the busiest days on record in December, we are confident of ending the year above the 70 million mark and confirming our position as the world’s busiest international airport,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports.

“Looking forward to 2015, the prospects remain exceedingly bright and we expect to maintain the growth achieved this year in the next 12 months.”

Dubai Airports also said that it plans to open Concourse D in the first half of next year.

siyer@thenational.ae

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