A change in UAE visa regulations, which offered Russian visitors a visa on arrival, has increased traffic at the Dubai World Central airport (DWC) by 6 percent to 904,940 passengers in 2017, compared to 850,633 in 2016, according to reports by operator Dubai Airports.
The figures were largely boosted by a surge in traffic on Eastern European routes, which recorded a jump of 168 percent and a total of 452,631passengers during the year.
Russia was the largest contributor to traffic from the area, with a growth of over 955 percent, totalling 279,100 passengers last year.
Western Europe also recorded a 35 percent surge in traffic with passenger numbers reaching 94,452, with Germany having the largest number of passengers at 41,671.
This was due to the launch of lights by Condor that connected the airport with a number of cities across Germany, including Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Leipzig, Hannover, Cologne, Munich, Berlin and Stuttgart, as well as Basel in Switzerland.
As for airlines which contributed in the traffic during the year, they include Wizz Air, Azur Air, Royal Flight, Condor and Ural Airlines.
DWC also registered a 6 percent growth in cargo volumes in the fourth quarter, with figures reaching 267,560 tonnes compared to 252,300 tonnes in the same period in 2016.
However, it recorded over 11 percent drop in flight movements, 34,198, in 2017 compared to 38,670 movements in 2016.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said the airport’s performance was ‘very satisfying’ in both passenger numbers and cargo volumes.
“DWC will have much more to offer to our airline partners and customers in 2018 as the project to expand the capacity of the passenger terminal building from 5 million to 26 million passengers per annum is nearing completion,” he said.
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