Dubai International Airport (DXB) has retained its spot as the world’s busiest for international passengers in December as airlines ramped up seat capacity to accommodate the increased inflow of winter holiday tourists.
DXB increased its seat capacity by eight per cent compared to the previous month, taking its total number of airline seats to 4.6 million, according to aviation data provider OAG. DXB has also retained its spot as the second busiest ‘global airport’ in the world, measuring domestic and international airline capacity, according to OAG’s December data sets. Among the global airports, airline capacity is six per cent higher compared to November 2022.
London Heathrow is the second busiest international airport, with 3.5 million seats. Both Dubai and London Heathrow were in first and second places in 2019. Out of the top 10 busiest international airports in December 2022, eight were in the top 10 in December 2019.
The airports which have seen their rankings rise, bringing them into the top 10 now, are Doha (from 13th to 8th) and Madrid (from 14th to 10th).
Experts in the travel industry believe that the DXB and Doha International Airport witnessed robust recovery over the past two months to accommodate the demand for football fans coming to watch the FIFA World Cup in Doha, which ends on Sunday, December 18. In addition, the emirate has relaunched the Dubai Destinations campaign, a three-month-long holiday campaign showcasing its emergence as one of the world’s best winter destinations.
According to The Winter Sun Index issued by travel package provider ParkSleepFly, Dubai has been tagged more than 111 million times on Instagram. It has the most winter-related ‘things to do’ Google searches worldwide, reaching 55,000. The city is also blessed with more than eight hours of sunlight daily and a pleasant average temperature of 20.4-degree centigrade in the winter.
Another study by Remote, a global talent consultancy issued last month, ranked Dubai as the second-best winter destination for digital nomads.
According to OAG’s December data sets, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Istanbul remain in third and fourth places with 2.8 million seats and 2.7 million seats.
Incheon airport has increased capacity by 19 per cent this month compared to last month, which is the most significant increase in the top 10, moving the city up one place to ninth for international flights. Among the global airports, Atlanta continues to be the world’s busiest airport with 4.7 million seats, a one per cent increase compared to last month.
Dubai and Tokyo Haneda airports remain in second and third places, with Dubai increasing capacity between November and December 2022 by eight per cent and Tokyo Haneda by seven per cent.