By Courtney Trenwith
Dubai Airports expects to officially overtake London Heathrow when 2014 passenger figures are confirmed at the end of January
Dubai International Airport expects to officially declare it is the world’s busiest international airport in January, according to a spokesman.
With one day left in 2014, DIA estimates more than 70 million people passed through the airport during the year, helping it to overtake London’s Heathrow Airport as number one.
The figures are expected to be confirmed by the end of January and would finally see Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths officially accept the airport’s status after consecutive months of higher passenger numbers than its European rival.
The growth comes despite two runways being temporarily shut down for upgrades in the first half of the year.
The latest figures, released on Tuesday show passenger numbers rose 4.3 percent to 5.57 million people in November, slowing from 5.7 percent growth in October due to a dramatic downturn in travellers from Russia and other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which plunged 18.2 percent from a year earlier in November.
In the first 11 months of this year, passenger traffic climbed 5.9 percent to 63.98 million people.
“Given the traffic achieved in the first 11 months, together with some of the busiest days on record in December, we are confident of ending the year above the 70 million mark and confirming our position as the world’s busiest international airport,” Griffiths said.
“Looking forward to 2015, the prospects remain exceedingly bright and we expect to maintain the growth achieved this year in the next 12 months.”
Earlier this year, Griffiths told Arabian Business he would not officially declare DIA the world’s busiest until it recorded four consecutive quarters of higher passenger numbers than Heathrow.
Heathrow is closed 5 hours a day. May be this should be mentioned in the comparison?? If there is a comparison?
Atlanta airport continues to be the world's busiest, as it has been for decades.
Beijing, incidentally, has the second highest passenger volume.
Dubai is many millions of passengers behind, even before losing the Russian traffic.
This is for international traffic. And dubai should have the busiest airport in the world around 2020 with 100 million passengers.