The passport control area at Dubai International Airport. For illustrative purposes only Image Credit: Gulf News File

Dubai: Dubai International is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic for 2015, ahead of strong rivals like London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, a new report on Monday showed.

Based on preliminary aviation traffic results compiled by Airports Council International, more than 77 million international passengers passed through Dubai airport in 2015, the highest in the world and an increase of 10.7 per cent. 

Overall, however, Dubai ranked third in terms of total passenger traffic, just behind Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport in the United States, which bagged the first place, and Beijing in China, which occupied the second spot.

“Dubai has become the fulcrum that connects long-haul international flights from east and west, north and south,” ACI said in a press release sent to Gulf News.

Dubai moved up in the overall rankings from being the sixth busiest airport in 2014 to the third position in 2015. Dubai’s airport is also the world’s second busiest for international air freight and the sixth biggest hub for air cargo.

In the overall ranking, Dubai is ahead of Chicago O'Hare International in the fourth place, Tokyo Haneda (5th), London Heathrow (6th),Los Angeles International (7th), Hong Kong International (8th), Paris Charles de Gaulle (9th) and Dallas/Fort Worth International (10th).

Total passenger traffic in Dubai reached more than 78 million in 2015, up 4.4 per cent from a year earlier. ACI data also showed that more than 2.5 million metric tonnes of air freight and another 2.5 million tonnes of air cargo were loaded and unloaded at the Dubai airport, the world’s second and sixth highest, respectively.

Another strong contender from the Middle East, Doha entered the top 20 list of world’s busiest airports in terms of air cargo, with volumes posting 46 per cent increase.

ACI's study was based on reports from 1,144 airports worldwide.