Dubai International is on course to become the world's fastest growing major airport for international passenger traffic having posted a 9.2 per cent growth for 2009. A record 40.9 million passengers used the airport in the year, said Dubai Airports.
Global Airport Association Airports Council International's (ACI) latest figures reveal 46 of the 50 busiest airports worldwide in terms of international passenger traffic have reported negative growth during the first three quarters of 2009. The only airports other than Dubai International reporting increases are Istanbul (6.3 per cent), Kuala Lumpur (4.6 per cent) and Cairo (1.5 per cent).
Dubai International handled a total of 3,816,360 passengers in December 2009 compared to 3,333,424 passengers during the same month in 2008, an increase of 14.5 per cent. This impressive rise marked the seventh consecutive double-digit increase in passenger traffic and the second highest monthly increase after September's 19.5 per cent rise. The full year passenger throughput reached 40,901,752 passengers up 9.2 per cent compared to 37,441,440 passengers recorded in 2008.
Cargo volumes were up 5.6 per cent in 2009 following a dramatic 26 per cent jump in December and double-digit increases during the last quarter of 2009. The full year cargo traffic reached 1,927,520 tonnes compared to 1,824,991 tonnes during the same period in 2008.
Dubai Airports Cargo handled 182,874 tonnes of freight in December 2009 compared to 145,176 tonnes during the corresponding month in 2008. Growth was mainly driven by major international conventions and events, a gradual improvement in the global economy and expansion by the airport's largest cargo carrier Emirates Airline.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group, said: "Dubai Airports is setting the pace globally. Dubai International's performance as one of the world's fastest growing airports in 2009 is particularly impressive considering the traffic contraction seen globally. This rapid growth strengthens our commitment to continue building Dubai into a world-class global aviation and logistics hub. If we can set records in a tough economic environment, the sky is the limit for what we can achieve when conditions improve."
"There are a number of distinct advantages that ensure Dubai International's growth," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. "Dubai's location, which puts it just four hours flying time from one-third of the world's population and 12 hours from 80 per cent of the population; an open skies policy that welcomes competition, top notch infrastructure and compelling tourist attractions. All add up to make Dubai a very attractive hub for an ever increasing number of travellers."
Dubai Airports' traffic forecast for Dubai International projects 13.6 per cent growth in international passenger traffic in 2010 translating into a throughput of 46 million passengers.
"It's clear 2009 was a year of spectacular growth for Dubai International and we will continue to invest in the future to make sure that we are always able to accommodate more passengers, more flights and deliver a service quality that is world class," said Griffiths. "Dubai International has capacity for 60 million passengers per year, and that will increase to 75 million passengers when Concourse 3 is completed in 2012."