By Ed Attwood
Gulf's biggest airport may miss annual targets due to regional political unrest
Passenger traffic at Dubai International airport rose by 13.2 percent in April, which authorities have attributed to the drop in traffic during last year’s volcanic ash crisis in Europe.
The number is sharply up on the 5.8 percent increase recorded in March.
Total passenger traffic in April amounted to 4.23m, while year-to-date traffic stands at 16.5m, an 8.5 percent increase over the first four months of last year.
Passenger numbers going to and from Arab and GCC states rose by 29.1 percent during the month, while Western Europe passenger traffic rose by 20.1 percent.
Freight figures rose by 5.6 percent to 179,397 tonnes in April, while year-to-date figures contracted by 0.3 percent in comparison to the first four months of 2010.
Aircraft movements rose 6.7 percent to 26,597.
“We have surpassed the four million passenger mark three out of the first four months of the year and that trend is set to continue,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“Our busiest summer ever is just around the corner and we will be working hard to maintain high service levels and ensure the comfort of our customers.”
Dubai Airports has predicted overall growth of 13.1 percent during this year, with overall passenger numbers breaching 50m for the first time.
However, the regional unrest may put paid to that target. If the current pattern over the first four months continues over the year, the airport will fall just short of the 50m mark.
The airport is planning to receive a total of 90m passengers a year by 2020, making it the world’s busiest airport.