Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. Dubai Airports, which manages the emirate’s two airports, will start shuttle services between Dubai International and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) from April 24. The shuttle services will be put in place as select airlines briefly shift to Dubai’s secondary airport for 80 days starting May 1, owing to runway repairs. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulfnews archives

Dubai: Dubai World Central, DWC, registered a surge of 81.5 per cent in customer numbers in 2019 with annual traffic exceeding 1.6 million, it was announced on Tuesday.

According to a DWC press statement, the sharp increase in customer numbers was attributed to the relocation of operations by various international carriers during the 45-day closure of Dubai International’s, DXB, southern runway during April and May of 2019.

Year-on-year traffic also increased in the final quarter of the year compared with 2018 as DWC welcomed 363,626 customers in Q4 (+38.2 per cent), mainly due to seasonal operations by chartered airlines.

Regions contributing to traffic growth at DWC during 2019 were CIS - Commonwealth of Independent States - (583,763), followed by South Asia (380,000), and the GCC (281,244). Russia was the top country destination with 549,806 customers followed by Saudi Arabia (201,138) and India (193,900). The top cities served by the DWC network included Moscow (253,092), Budapest (60,098) and Jeddah (55,873) There were 8,871 flights during Q4 bringing the annual total to 36,949 movements (up 23.3 percent).

With a total of 234,741 tonnes of freight in recorded in Q4, DWC’s annual cargo volume reached 911,571 tonnes (down 7.7 percent).

DWC is currently served by six passenger airlines which operate an average of 30 weekly flights to 45 international destinations around the world. DWC is also home to 17 cargo operators that operate to as many as 45 cities globally.