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Sun 25 Sep 2011 06:08 PM

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Ramadan dents air passenger growth in Dubai

Dubai International Airport handles over 4m passengers in Aug but growth slows to less than 1%

Ramadan dents air passenger growth in Dubai
Dubai airport

Dubai International Airport passenger numbers topped four million for the sixth time in eight months, according to statistics released by Dubai Airports on Sunday.

August traffic numbers revealed that the airport handled a total of 4,019,230 passengers, compared to 3,987,184 in August 2010, a year on year increase of 0.8 percent.

Year to date traffic reached 33,311,157, up eight percent compared to 30,857,624 in the same period in 2010, the operator said in a statement.

The largest regional traffic growth in August in terms of total passenger numbers was recorded on routes to and from the GCC, North America, the Indian Subcontinent and Russia & CIS, it added.

Passenger numbers on Middle Eastern routes were down by 65,000 due to the eaffects of Ramadan along with ongoing instability in some destinations in the region.

Western European traffic, which usually offsets the drop in Middle Eastern traffic during the month of Ramadan, remained flat resulting in only a modest year-on-year percentage increase in traffic.

On a country level, the largest gains were seen on traffic to and from Saudi Arabia, USA, Bangladesh, Thailand and Ethiopia.

August air freight volumes dropped 7.9 percent as Dubai International handled 182,781 tonnes compared to 198,543 tonnes during the same period in 2010.

Year to date, the airport has handled a total of 1,433,270 tonnes of cargo, compared to 1,451,048 tonnes during the same period last year, a contraction of 1.2 percent.

Dubai Airports said air freight traffic, which is widely considered as a leading indicator of economic well-being, has been affected by economic uncertainty in the US and Europe.

"It's clear four million passengers per month is the new standard at Dubai International," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. "We are on track to meet our projection for 51 million passengers by year end."

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