DUBAI, 17 August – The number of passengers using Dubai International Airport (DXB) nearly tripled during the second quarter, despite reduced capacity following the closure of one of its two runways for 45 days for refurbishment work.
The world’s busiest international airport handled 14.2 million passengers, up about 191 per cent year-on-year during the three-month period to the end of June, maintaining growth for nine consecutive quarters since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, state-owned operator Dubai Airports said on Wednesday.
“Not only has Dubai Airports been successful in managing the recovery, but customer service quality has been maintained throughout,” Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said.
“We knew at the start of the pandemic that the dramatic downturn would be followed by an equally dramatic upturn, so we were well prepared for it and using all of the business data at our disposal were able to predict the start of the recovery. We worked with our service partners across the airport community to be ready.”
The recovery at the airport, the hub of long-haul airline Emirates, comes during a strong rally in international travel.
In June, international traffic rose about 230 per cent year-on-year, helped by the lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific, according to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (Iata).
Passenger volumes in the first half of the year more than doubled to 27.9 million, compared with the same period last year, Dubai Airports said.
This is 1.2 million short of the airport’s total annual traffic last year.The airport has reached 67.5 per cent its pre-pandemic passenger traffic in the first half of 2019.“
DXB’s recovery from the impact of the global pandemic has been spectacular, and that position has been strengthened during 2022, particularly during the second quarter,” Mr Griffiths said.
Dubai hosted 7.12 million international visitors in the first half of 2022, nearly three times the 2.52 million recorded in the same period last year, despite the impact of “unprecedented challenges” and “macroeconomic factors” affecting the global economy and tourism sector, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) said this month.Dubai Airports now expects 62.4 million passengers in 2022, raising its annual traffic forecast from an earlier projection in May of 58.3 million. — The National News