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Thu 24 Jul 2014 02:03 PM

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Dubai Int'l runway closure leads to 8.5% drop in June passengers

Operator Dubai Airports says first-half of 2014 still saw 6.2% rise in users despite 80-day closure

Dubai Int'l runway closure leads to 8.5% drop in June passengers

Passenger traffic through Dubai's main airport dropped 8.5 percent from a year earlier in June to 5.07 million people, as construction temporarily reduced its capacity, operator Dubai Airports said on Thursday.

Dubai International, one of the world's busiest airports, cut back flights by about 26 percent for an 80-day period that ended on Monday, as first one runway and then the other was closed for resurfacing and other work.

In the first half of this year, passenger traffic expanded 6.2 percent to 34.68 million people. Dubai Airports said the resuming full operations would permit renewed traffic growth towards the end of this year.

Cargo volumes in June dropped 14.3 percent to 180,025 tonnes. First-half volumes edged down 1.8 percent to 1.18 million tonnes.

"The first half numbers are impressive given the capacity reductions we put in place to allow us to conduct vital upgrades to both runways at our hub," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"However, this slight drag on our usual double-digit growth will be short-lived. The successful completion of the runway refurbishment comes just in time to accommodate the surge in passenger numbers expected with next week's Eid holiday."

Dubai International is expected to have its busiest days on record between July 24 and July 27. To meet this demand Dubai Airports said it has introduced extra staff and facilities to meet the increase and eliminate any potential delays.

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