Dubai:Dubai International recorded a drop in passenger traffic growth figures in May due to consecutive runway maintenance repairs cutting capacity at the airport.

Latest figures provided by Dubai Airports show that 5,086,910 travelled through Dubai International in May 2014, a 2.5 per cent dip from the 5,218,832 that used the airport in May 2013.

Dubai International continues to lead London Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for passenger traffic in 2014; however, the gap has been shortened. For the year to May, 29.6 million passengers travelled through Dubai International, up 9.2 per cent. London Heathrow is up 2.2 per cent to 28.4 per cent. In April, the gap was 2.3 million passengers.

Dubai Airports stated that average number of passengers per flights is up 22 per cent with airlines deploying larger aircraft during the runway repair period that lasts until July 20.

Passenger growth expected to “remain flat or marginally decline” throughout June and July until the refurbishment programme is completed. Ramadan, which started on Sunday (June 29), is also expected to contribute to a “lull in passenger numbers,” Dubai Airports stated.

London overtook Mumbai as Dubai International’s busiest city destination in May with 3.3 per cent growth. Western Europe recorded the highest increase in passenger numbers in May with a 63,185 increase, followed by North America with a 50,954 increase, and Asia with 40,535 more passengers.

Cargo volumes at Dubai International have dropped 13.3 due to all dedicated freighters moving to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. Passenger aircraft belly cargo is still being processed at Dubai International with 182,028 tonnes passing through the airport in May. Year to May cargo volumes are up 0.8 per cent to 1,003,222 tonnes.