Dubai airport will be world's busiest by 2020, says CEO

Paul Griffiths says growth rates at Dubai are more than double what is being experienced by both Beijing and Atlanta
By Staff writer
Mon 03 Oct 2016 02:07 PM

Dubai International Airport will overtake Beijing and Atlanta as the world’s busiest airport in the next four years, according to its CEO.

Paul Griiffths said he expects the figures this year to rise to 83 million (up from 78m last year), which he said will exceed the 90 million mark by the end of next year - three years ahead of its forecast for 2020.

Dubai International, currently third in the list of world’s business airports by passenger traffic, will overtake the US and Chinese hubs by the end of this decade owing to far superior growth rates, according to Griffiths.

“The growth rates that we are experiencing are more than double what is being experienced by both Beijing and Atlanta," Griffiths told Bloomberg TV in an interview.

“I think perhaps within this decade, we should see ourselves exceeding the total traffic through those airports for the number 1 absolute spot."

He said the Asian market is growing in importance for Dubai International  with 1.3bn annual passenger journeys expected to originate from the Asia Pacific region by 2034.

“Dubai is perfectly placed, being at the crossroads between east and west to take advantage of that growth. We’re making that our new airport development plans, which are going to cost about $30 billion over the next 20 years will be in place to ensure that we’ve got the infrastructure to take advantage of that growth. There’s a lot of airports in the world that won’t be able to grow at the rates that they will need to grow to take advantage of that growth.”

Griffiths said growth at the airport will be assisted by their plans to “get people through the airport quicker”.

“That means improvements in process technology and service levels, which I think customers travelling these days are going to vote in favour of,” he said.

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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