HomeChannelsFeaturedDubai retains title as busiest airport

Dubai retains title as busiest airport


Arabian Post Staff

Dubai International (DXB) continues to be the world’s busiest airport by international passenger numbers for the eighth consecutive year after clocking 29.1 million in annual traffic in 2021. DXB’s annual traffic exceeded forecasts for the year by more than half a million passengers, on the back of a strong last quarter.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, described an eventful year which, despite the uncertainties of the global pandemic, contained many milestones that demonstrate several bold steps taken by Dubai and its aviation sector to lead the recovery of global air travel, including  the successful hosting of the Dubai Airshow 2021, the world’s first major airshow since the start of the pandemic, the return of DXB to 100% operational capacity with the reopening of Terminal 1-Concourse D and Concourse A, and the opening of the world’s largest in-house airport laboratory for fast-track processing Covid-19 PCR test samples for Dubai’s visitors. The airport also welcomed a record number of new airlines connecting Dubai to new destinations and joined the rest of the city in creating a warm welcome for millions of visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai.

Current forecasts indicate that traffic through DXB could reach 55.1m by the end of 2022, but Griffiths acknowledges that if current trends continue, that figure could be exceeded by a significant margin.

DXB welcomed 29,110,609 passengers for the full year of 2021, a year-on year-growth of 12.7%. The numbers were propelled by a robust growth in the final three months of the year during which DXB recorded 11,794,046 passengers, 77% more than in the previous quarter. It was the busiest quarter since Q1 2020, and the first time since the start of the pandemic that DXB’s quarterly traffic surpassed the 10 million mark. December was the busiest month of the year with 4.5 million passengers.

India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger volume, with passenger traffic for 2021 totalling 4.2m, followed by Pakistan with 1.8m, Saudi Arabia with 1.5m, and the United Kingdom with 1.2m passengers. Other destination countries of note include the US (1.1m passengers), Egypt (1m) and the Turkey (945,000 passengers).

DXB’s top destination cities during 2021 were Istanbul with 916,000 passengers, Cairo (905,000), London (814,000) and New Delhi (791,000 passengers).

DXB is currently connected to 198 destinations across 93 countries through 84 international carriers – significantly more than in 2019 before the pandemic.

The number of flight movements at DXB reached 77,671 during the fourth quarter bringing the annual flight movements to 233,375, a year-on-year growth of 28.1%. The average number of passengers per flight reached 154, down 18.9% year-on-year.

Cargo continued its strong performance throughout the year finishing with 614,834 tonnes of cargo in the fourth quarter (7.5%) taking the annual freight volume in 2021 up by 20% to 2,319,185 tonnes.

Also published on Medium.

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