Stock - Dubai Airport
Visitors to Dubai exceeded 1m during October, and DXB reached the important milestone of 1m passengers per week in November. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Dubai International Airport (DXB) retained its position as the world’s busiest in December, with over one million more seats than the next busiest, London Heathrow, according to aviation consultancy OAG.

Fewer European airports made it to OAG’s top 10 for this month, down to six from eight in November, but the rankings remain relatively unchanged - with the exception of Frankfurt, which dropped from 5th to 6th busiest. Dublin dropped out of the list after being replaced by Miami in the 10th place.

Dubai’s passenger capacity rose 15 per cent month-over-month to roughly 3.5 million seats in December as UAE welcomes thousands of visitors during its peak tourist season. Dubai International’s Terminal 3 is expected to serve more than 1.6 million passengers in the second-half of December during the month’s peak seasonal period.

100% capacity

Following the opening of the final phase of Concourse A at Dubai International’s (DXB) Terminal 3, the world’s busiest international airport is 100 per cent operational. Visitors to Dubai exceeded 1 million during October, and DXB reached the important milestone of 1 million passengers per week in November, with origin-destination passengers reaching 94 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

“Reaching the point where 100 per cent of our facilities are now open and serving customers, plus the huge resurgence in passengers arriving into Dubai marks an important milestone for the aviation sector as well as for Dubai and its economic growth,” said Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths in a statement.

“We took early steps to implement best-in-class hygiene and health protocols, fast track PCR testing facilities, and enhanced customer service and guest support resources to ensure the comfort, convenience and safety of travelers – and this has resulted in a strong recovery towards pre-pandemic levels of passengers,” he added.

More connectivity

Dubai International has hit the 99 per cent mark. The target has been reached on its inter-connection network, with 198 destinations now covered through 89 national and international carriers operating their flights to over 90 countries.

The milestone was achieved despite the latest ‘Omicron’ threat, which has prompted several countries, including UAE, to suspend flights from affected markets.

Busiest global airport

This month another US airport joined the top 10 busiest global airports, as the US domestic market moved closer to a recovery with capacity just 12 per cent behind December 2019. Miami joined the top 10, in 10th place, up from 47th place in 2019.

There was just one Chinese airport in the top 10 this month, Guangzhou in 4th place, as Shenzhen dropped out of the rankings.