Dubai-based air services provider dnata has revealed that December 23 was its busiest day in 2016 with 18,529 staff handling 281,388 passengers and 329,341 bags in the UAE.
The company, a subsidiary of Emirates, said it dealt with one aircraft movement every 73 seconds on that day and closed the year with 419,133 tonnes of cargo at Dubai International Airport, up eight percent from the previous year.
Dnata said its UAE operations continued to grow during 2016 despite challenges in the aviation industry and increased economic pressures around the globe.
“It’s been a challenging year but our team has demonstrated unwavering commitment to delivering the highest standards to our customers,” said Steve Allen, DSVP dnata airport operations.
“We have worked hard to stay agile, efficient and innovative, while never compromising our safety and operational excellence. 2017 will require us to be even more tactile and responsive to the needs of the market, and stay on top of our game to ensure a robust year ahead.”
Dnata said 2016 saw unprecedented growth in aircraft handling and passenger movement, handling more than 91.3 million passengers, 97.8 million bags and 431,978 aircraft movements between Dubai International and Al Maktoum International.
This represented more than a 16 percent increase in the number of passengers, and a 4 percent increase in the number of flights compared to 2015.
The most travelled sector from Dubai was Doha with over 2.99 million passengers making the journey from the hub, and 3.2 million bags meeting travellers at the destination, dnata added.
It said Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central also saw a spike in passenger numbers with Flydubai’s growing operations at the airport during 2016.
The airport has also developed into a regional cargo hub with a capacity to grow to 16 million tonnes per year. dnata said it now handles more than 117,000 tonnes of cargo at DWC and this number will continue to grow.
In addition to Dubai, dnata has ground handling operations in 74 other airports around the world, serving more than 250 airlines, and is the world’s largest ground handler of the Airbus A380 aircraft.