By Rob Morris
Passenger traffic climbed more than 10% last month following summer travel boost, hub operator reveals.
Passenger traffic at Dubai airport climbed more than 10 percent last month following an increase in summer travel, the hub’s operator revealed on Monday.
Dubai Airports said the hub handled 3,361,413 travellers in June – a 10.3 percent rise compared to 3,048,220 during the same period in 2008.
During this year’s opening half, Dubai airport handled 19,453,775 passengers, representing a five percent increase from last year.
Cargo handling was down 2.3 percent to 152,278 tonnes in June from 155,919 tonnes the previous year.
“Passenger traffic is on the rise and cargo is holding its own in a very tough economic environment,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“Growth is being driven by strong demand during the peak summer period, the growing strength and attractiveness of the Dubai hub, underpinned by the continued expansion of Emirates, and an influx of new airlines at a rate of one per month.”
He added the outlook for passenger traffic beyond the summer was positive.
“The fact that Dubai International is recording double-digit passenger growth during the deepest global recession in decades bodes well for the future. When the current economic situation improves, Dubai will be in good shape, ready to lead the global recovery in air travel” Griffiths said.
Once again an insult to our intelligence throwing out numbers that say absolutely nothing. How are the numbers made up? Incoming, outgoing, transits. Does Mr. Griffiths really believe he is doing Dubai a service by making wild unsupported statements? No, the opposite. To those people who really need solid information, it only adds to the criticism that Dubai is suffering and that is a great disservice.
I recently took a trip to the UK. When I left at 0805 on the 9th JulyT3 was busy in the departure lounges, not very busy at check in. The BHX flight was about 70% capacity. The return flight (arr 18th) was very full (~90%). On arrival most of the passengers transferred to other flights about 50-60 disembarked to Dubai. This shows the distortion in travel statistics TO Dubai. Probably most of the passengers in the departure were transfers. Conclusion: The lower fares are increasing through travel but not to Dubai as a destination, good for Emirates but not fo Dubai. Yesterday morning I dropped off a friend at Etihad (at 0730). T3 was deserted just as T3 at DXB. Again showing Travel up, Visitors down.
Any travel agent will tell you how business is down, partly due to the recession but largely due to swine flu. A leading travel agent in the region has quoted a figure of a 40% drop on last year. So the increase Mr Griffiths talks about must be people who have no choice but to travel and take the risk. From this we must assume that Mr Griffiths is in fact confirming the large numbers of people leaving Dubai. Congratulations. If not, it perhaps might be a good idea for Mr Griffiths to take a walk through the airport and see the desolation. Maybe they get in Rent-a-crowd when he does his morning inspection. Bottom line is, the lack of transparency is keeping lots of people very entertained.
This increase in traffic is mainly attributed to transfer passengers (or 6th freedom rights) which represents a substantial percentage of EK traffic. From traffic point of view this is a positive sign. However from Dubai true origin & destination (i.e. passenger traffic to from / to Dubai and not through Dubai) point of view it would be a negative sign if the percentage of these passengers drops compared to the overall traffic. On the longer run, falling True & Origin traffic - Dubai is not healthy for Emirates (as this type of traffic has a higher margin), for Dubai (because the city gravity among other cities has went down with negative implications on the different economy sectors) and Dubai Airports (as the pressure on airport charges / taxes will increase due to the lower margin associated with transfer passengers for airlines along with competition from airports on the different routes for those transfer passengers)