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Sat 10 Sep 2016 12:16 AM

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Dubai retains title of world's busiest international airport

Airports Council International report also shows that DXB is world's second busiest hub for international cargo

Dubai retains title of world's busiest international airport

Dubai International Airport has been named the world's busiest for international passenger traffic and the second busiest for cargo, according to new figures released by the Airports Council International (ACI).

The 2015 ACI World Airport Traffic report showed that DXB serviced 77.5 million passengers last year, up 10.7 percent over 2014, putting it ahead of London Heathrow and Hong Kong for international passengers.

It also showed that Dubai handled 2.51 million metric tonnes of freight in 2015, up 3.4 percent over 2014, putting it second behind Hong Kong in the international air cargo category.

Worldwide airport passenger numbers increased 6.4 percent in 2015 to almost 7.2 billion, registering increases in all six regions.

The top spot in the busiest airports overall list for 2015 continued to belong to Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL). Growing 5.5 percent year-over-year in passenger traffic to the record-breaking total of over 100 million passengers in 2015, Atlanta has benefitted from its strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America.

Airport traffic in emerging markets and developing economies grew faster (8.1 percent) than in advanced economies (5.2 percent) in 2015, with emerging markets reaching a 44 percent share of global passenger traffic.

The report also said that during 2015, the Middle East recorded 334 million air passengers, a rise of nearly 10 percent over the previous year. Asia-Pacific was the busiest region (2.46 billion, up 8.6 percent over 2014).

It added that while there were 16 airports with over 40 million passengers in 2005, this number has more than doubled and rose to a total of 37 airports by 2015.

"On the back of a growing middle class in key emerging markets, the significant growth of intercontinental hubs in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East reveals that air transport’s nucleus continues to move eastward," the report said.

The world’s top 30 airport cities handled almost one-third of global passenger traffic. London remained the world’s largest airport system with over 155 million passengers handled at six airports. New York maintained the second position with 123 million passengers at three airports. Tokyo was the third city market with 113 million passengers.

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