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UAE airports see traffic up in first half

Traffic up as airlines launch new routes and frequencies

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archives
Passengers at Passport Control area, Arrival, in Dubai International Airport, Terminal 1. Immigration services at DubaiInternational Airport in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Gulf News


Dubai International and Abu Dhabi International airports saw passenger traffic increase in the first half of the year as airlines launched new routes and frequencies.

The passenger traffic at Dubai International jumped 13.7 per cent in the fist six months of the year, marking the busiest first half in the airport’s history, and in line with its target to meet the annual projected traffic of 56.5 million passengers.

According to Dubai Airports, the body managing Dubai International, the airport’s 27.93 million passengers in the first half of 2012, up from 24.57 million in the same period a year ago. In June alone, 4.71 million passengers passed through the airport, up 16 per cent from a year earlier.

“We are on track to meet the annual projected traffic of 56.5 million passengers, which will bring us very close to Dubai International’s operational capacity of 60 million passengers per annum,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said in a statement, adding that the addition of Concourse 3 during the first quarter of 2013 is “well timed” to boost the airport’s capacity to 75 million.

“The traffic growth at Dubai International continues to show both strength and vibrancy – not just from regional traffic via low cost airlines like flydubai, but Emirates, too, is helping to push numbers up at the airport,” said aviation analyst Saj Ahmad at StrategicAero Research.

“And with the continued investment at the airport by the Dubai Government, questions will soon be asked as to how much more quickly Al Maktoum International Airport can be kicked into action for passenger flights to cope with such burgeoning demand,” he added.

Abu Dhabi International Airport, on the other hand, welcomed over seven million passengers in first six months of 2012, up 22.8 per cent from the same period in 2011.

The Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), which manages the Abu Dhabi airport, said in a statement that Abu Dhabi International airport saw passenger traffic reaching 7.05 million in the first half of the year, propelled by strong Etihad Airways’ strong performance, new routes and frequencies of new airlines.

According to Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operating Officer at ADAC, the first half of 2012 saw the airport recording the “highest volumes of passenger traffic” in its history. “Together with our home-base carriers and our other airline partners we intend to further grow the airport’s network,” he said in a statement.

Cargo volumes, meanwhile, rose 2.2 per cent to 1.09 million tons at Dubai International in the first half of he year. Whereas, cargo shipments at Abu Dhabi International Airport rested at 268,157 tonnes, in the same period, up 15.7 per cent over the corresponding period a year earlier.