Dubai Int'l posts 18.9% rise in passengers in May

Operator says numbers boosted by Qantas-Emirates alliance and Saudi aviation liberalisation

The operator of Dubai International, the world's second busiest airport, said on Wednesday that it saw double-digit growth in passenger numbers in May.

According to a traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports, airport users rose 18.9 percent increase last month.

Passenger traffic in May reached 5,218,832 compared to 4,388,614 during the corresponding month in 2012.

Following the launch of flights by Qantas in May after the airline's tie-up with Emirates, Australia was the fastest growing destination with 50 percent growth in traffic followed by Saudi Arabia (40 percent) thanks to the post liberalisation boom in the Gulf kingdom's aviation sector.

With May being the sixth consecutive month the airport has recorded passenger numbers exceeding 5 million, the year to date traffic is up 16.8 percent to 27,124,195 compared to 23,216,893 during the first five months of 2012, a statement said.

Dubai Airports said that as a result of Emirates Airline's and flydubai's expanding network, Western Europe topped the list of regions with the largest increase in total passenger numbers (up 208,393).

India remained the top destination country in terms of total passenger numbers which reached 728,259 in May.

Dubai International recorded a total of 31,121 aircraft movements, up 10 percent compared to 28,304 in May 2012. The year to date (May) movements increased 6.9% to reach 152,720.

Average passengers per aircraft movement, an indicator of airport efficiency and fleet mix, totalled 186 during the month, up 4.9 percent compared to May 2012, due to the increased numbers of Emirates airline A380s, Dubai Airports said.

Growth in freight continued at Dubai International, increasing in May by 11.9 percent to 209,985 tonnes compared to 187,638 tonnes in May last year, it added.

"We have managed ten straight months of double-digit growth but it is going to get busier as the annual summer travel season coincides with the holy month of Ramadan. In anticipation of the rush we have launched a number of initiatives, including rerouting some of the ground transportation and increasing the airport's seating capacity," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

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