Dubai sees 10% rise in air passengers in Nov

Increasing flows from western Europe, India drive growth in passenger numbers

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport rose 10 percent from a year earlier in November to 4.88 million people, boosted by increasing flows from western Europe and India, Dubai Airports said on Monday.

Traffic in the first 11 months of this year climbed 13.1 percent to 52.36 million passengers. The airport says it is the world's fourth busiest hub for international passengers.

A new section of the airport to handle Airbus A380 superjumbo planes is due to open in early 2013, increasing the airport's annual capacity to 75 million passengers from 60 million. Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said in a statement that the additional capacity would be welcome.

Dubai International handled 200,060 tonnes of cargo in November, up 4.4 percent from a year earlier, while freight volume in the first 11 months increased 3.6 percent to 2.08 million tonnes.

In addition to Dubai International, the emirate aims by the end of next year to open its new Al Maktoum International airport for passenger traffic, Dubai Airports chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum told reporters this month.

That airport, which began cargo operations two years ago, is designed eventually to cater to 160 million passengers.

Dubai officials say the emirate's booming tourism industry and its central location between continents as a hub for airlines justify the expansion schemes. They are planning to build huge retail, hotel and entertainment projects to cater to big rises in foreign visitors projected over the next decade.

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