Dubai International’s half yearly traffic stood at 27.9 million passengers. Image Credit: DXB/Twitter

Dubai International (DXB) was once again the world’s busiest international airport in August, data showed.

With over 4. 1 million seats, the airport was well ahead of London Heathrow at 3.4 million seats, aviation data firm OAG said.

London Heathrow, which took the second place, saw its capacity drop 4 per cent in August from the month before.

Amsterdam (3.15 million seats), Paris CDG (3.14 million), Istanbul (2.9 million), Frankfurt (2.9 million), Doha (2.2 million), London Gatwick (2.094 million), Singapore Changi (2.089 million) and Madrid (2.012) completed the top 10.

Top airline routes

Dubai-Riyadh, Mumbai-Dubai, and Dubai-London Heathrow were also among the top 10 busiest global international airline routes in August, with 301,568, 235,710 and 227,450 seats, respectively. Kuala Lumpur - Singapore Changi with 325,350 seats was the busiest.

Within the Middle East region, Dubai International dominated rankings, with Dubai-Riyadh, Mumbai-Dubai, Dubai-London Heathrow, Dubai-Jeddah, Delhi-Dubai and Bahrain-Dubai being among the top 10 routes.

Heathrow’s capacity cuts

In July, Heathrow introduced temporary capacity limits on outbound flights to improve airport operations amid a severe staffing deficit. Airports in UK and Europe were forced to cancel thousands of flights over the last few months as they could not ramp up hiring to meet a surge in travel demand.

Earlier this month, Heathrow said it will extend the cap on flight departures until October 29 as it looks to support more “reliable and resilient” passenger journeys.

“Since the cap was introduced, passenger journeys have improved with fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter wait times for bags,” Heathrow said in a statement.

Gatwick is back

The London Gatwick airport, meanwhile, said earlier this week it will end capacity caps this month.

Gatwick was one of the first airports to limit capacity in spring as travel rebounded from the pandemic, with hours-long queues for security and numerous last-minute cancellations.

However, London Heathrow was still the busiest airport in Western Europe with a capacity of 3.6 million. “The drop in capacity is because of airlines adjusting capacity downwards to better manage resources and ensure schedule integrity,” said OAG.

DXB traffic surges

Dubai International’s half yearly traffic stood at 27.9 million passengers, a 161.9 per cent jump compared to H1 2021, and just 1.2 million shy of the airport’s total annual traffic last year, the airport said earlier this month. DXB achieved the milestone despite a significant reduction in capacity resulting from the 45-day closure of its northern runway in May-June for a major refurbishment project.

DXB recorded 14.2 million passengers in the second quarter of 2022, a year-on-year jump of 190.6 per cent.

Based on the strong first half and projection of a stronger second half with average monthly traffic expected to reach 5.6 million passengers, Dubai Airports readjusted upwards its annual forecast for 2022 to 62.4 million passengers.