Stock Dubai Airport
Dubai International Airport intends to remain the world's busiest - and the soon-to-re-open Concourse A will help. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai International Airport (DXB) has seen 20.7 million passengers between January to end October after experiencing a 20 per cent surge last month. Dubai Airports, the operator, said the figures were a clear sign of changes in travel restrictions boosting travel demand.

DXB’s passenger volumes in the third quarter totalled 6.7 million. The airport said it is serving 83 per cent of the destinations in 99 per cent of the countries compared to pre-pandemic levels. “It’s been a steady journey of recovery for DXB,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “While we are still a long way from pre-pandemic levels of traffic, we are encouraged to see this significant increase in the rate of passenger growth which continues to endorse our position as the world’s largest international airport.

“Our performance to date has led the global recovery in all aspects of aviation activity and the growing ability of countries to manage the global pandemic is allowing travel restrictions to be lifted. This has given travellers both the confidence and freedom to plan long-awaited journeys with ease.”

Flight movements in the third quarter surged to 56,266 at DXB, propelling the number of flight movements recorded between January and September to 155,706 - a 17 per cent jump.

Stock Paul Griffiths
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports: “Our performance to date has led the global recovery in all aspects of aviation activity..." Image Credit: Supplied

Full capacity

Griffiths added that the spike in demand was the reason why Concourse A at DXB was being prepared for reopening before the end of November, which will put the airport back to 100 per cent capacity after 20 months of reduced operations.

Cargo performance

Cargo continued its impressive performance in the third quarter, with volumes hovering around 2019 levels throughout. DXB recorded 581,972 tonnes of freight in the third quarter, bringing the total volume for the first nine months of 2021 to 1.7 million tonnes, a year on year increase of 25.3 per cent.

Top destinations

South Asia retained its rank as DXB’s largest contributor of traffic led by India (2.8 million passengers) and Pakistan (1 million). Egypt was ranked third with 753,000 passengers, followed closely by the US (710,000) and Turkey (598,000). Other destination countries of note included Ethiopia, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The top three cities by traffic were Cairo (634,000), Istanbul (576,000) and Addis Ababa (573,000).

“Significant market developments such as the UK’s vaccination-based travel programme, the resumption of flights to several important destinations in Australasia and the relaxation of restrictions for travel between India and the US have all contributed to an upward revision in our forecast for the year by an additional 2 million passengers to 28.7 million,” said Griffiths.