Global airline passenger traffic grew 6.8% in 2015, with the Middle East region growing the fastest, preliminary data released on Wednesday by the United Nations’ civil aviation agency showed.
US carriers were ranked the top three in the world by revenue passenger kilometer, American Airlines Group taking the top position, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said in a statement.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the world’s busiest airport by number of passengers, followed by Beijing Capital International Airport and Dubai International Airport, ICAO said.
The global load factor, which measures how much of an airline’s passenger carrying capacity is used, hit a 10-year high of 80.2% in 2015 because of improved air carrier optimization. North America recorded the highest load factor globally, at about 83.5%.
Global freight traffic grew more slowly last year, despite strong gains in passenger volume, reflecting stagnating world trade development, ICAO said. Global freight traffic grew 2.2% last year, compared with 4.9% in 2014.
Meanwhile, Dubai International Airport (DXB) retained its position as the world’s busiest airport by international passenger traffic in 2015 by welcoming 78 million visitors, according to a traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports in February 2016.
Dubai International Airport annual passenger traffic rose 10.7% to reach 78.01 million passengers last year compared to 70.47 million in 2014, a 10.7% rise.
Aircraft movements in 2015 reached 403,517, up 14.1% compared to 353,507 aircraft movements recorded during 2014.
The growth in passenger traffic was boosted by the growth of some 100 airlines that connect Dubai International Airport to more than 240 destinations around the world, most notably Emirates and flydubai.
Dubai International Airport welcomed new airlines including Air Canada from Toronto, Eurowings from Cologne and China Southern from Wuhan, among others.
A total of 12 new passenger destinations were also added thanks to the ongoing network expansion of Dubai-based airlines flydubai and Emirates.
India retained its position as Dubai Airport’s single largest destination country in 2015 with over 10.3 million passengers, a year-on-year growth of 17%. The United Kingdom was placed second with more than 5.6 million passengers with Saudi Arabia at 5.4 million.
Dubai International Airport is preparing to open its newest facility, the $1.2 billion Concourse D, which is slated to open this quarter.