By Andy Sambidge
Airport used by 32.6m people in first half of year; figures boosted by Emirates-Qantas alliance
Dubai International’s passenger traffic hit 32.6 million in the first half of this year, making it the busiest six months in the airport’s history, its operator said on Monday.
Dubai Airports said passenger traffic rose 17.5 percent from a year earlier to 5.54 million people in June, aided by the Emirates airline's tie-up with Qantas.
In the first half of this year, passenger traffic climbed 16.9 percent to 32.66 million people, it added in a statement.
The average monthly passenger traffic recorded in the first six months of the year stood at 5.44 million compared to 4.65 million during the corresponding period in 2012.
In June, the top five country destinations in terms of passenger volumes were India, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Australia and Pakistan.
Spurred by the launch of Qantas operations into Dubai in April, Australia (up 44.4 percent) topped the list in terms of percentage growth.
Aircraft movements in June totalled 30,191 up 10.1 percent from 27,428 registered during the same period in 2012.
Year to date aircraft movements totalled 182,911, an increase of 7.4 percent compared to 170,249 recorded during the first half of 2012.
Freight volume through the airport rose 3.6 percent in June to 202,077 tonnes, and gained 10.2 percent to 1.20 million tonnes during the first half.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “The first half this year has been very satisfying with double-digit growth across all markets, boosted by the launch of 84 new services to 25 destinations.
"A major driver of growth was Emirates airline’s tie-up with Qantas and consequent launch of the Australian carrier’s operations into Dubai.
"A number of major events are lined up for the remainder of the year – including the opening of the passenger operations at Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International in October followed by the Dubai Airshow 2013 in November – making the second half even more promising.”
He said passenger traffic at Dubai International is expected to surpass 65.4 million in 2013.