Kuwait air passengers rise 5% in 2012

Aviation official says more than 8.9m passengers use airport; over 85,000 flights take off

Air traffic at Kuwait International Airport grew six percent in 2012 compared to the previous year, according to Nabil al-Zamel, deputy director of civil aviation.

He added in comments published by Kuwait News Agency that the number of passengers using the airport rose five percent.

Al-Zamel said more than 8.9 million passengers passed through the airport last year compared to 8.5 million in 2011.

He added that more than 85,567 flights were recorded in 2012 compared to 85,117 flights in the previous year.

He described air cargo volumes as "quite brisk" in 2012 totalling more than 181 million kilograms but did not give a comparative figure for the previous 12 months.

Al-Zamil said the increases had been posted "at a time when the air travel industry worldwide has experienced rough going due in the main to the global economic slump, particularly in Europe, and political turmoil in different regions of the Middle East".

During last year, Bahrain Air, Iran's Zagros Air, and Thailand's Jet Asia ramped up their flights through Kuwait as did Qatar Airways, Flydubai, Gulf Air, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air and Emirates, he added.

Kuwait’s government is spending $6bn to almost double the number of passengers its international airport is able to handle by the end of 2016.

The expansion is part of Kuwait’s $111bn four-year development plan announced in February 2010 to build a subway and rail network, expand the airport and construct power stations, hospitals, roads and a port for the nation of 3.7m people.

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