Passenger traffic at Dubai’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC) has increased 35.3 per cent in the first half of the year, the emirate’s airports operator has announced.
The increase in traffic came despite the halting of flights by Qatar Airways, which operated at least four trips a day between the airport and Doha. The airline has been barred from flying to the UAE since June 5 following a boycott of Qatar by the emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain.
Dubai Airports said DWC welcomed 554,993 passengers in the first six months of the year from 410,278 in the same period last year.
This followed a 45.1 per cent increase in traffic in the second quarter form 152,465 to 221,213.
During the first half, the airport saw the most passengers from Eastern Europe at 207,798, followed by the GCC at 170,424, Western Europe at 61,459 and the Indian subcontinent at 55,785.
“DWC’s continuing growth as an important travel and logistics hub is driven by advantages the facility offers to both airlines and passengers, from easy availability of slots to quick turn-around times, access to new catchment area, and quick transit times for passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Dubai’s second airport is currently served by eight carriers, operating an average of 95 flight per week to 14 destinations. It is also home to 26 scheduled cargo operators flying to 70 destinations.
Local low cost carrier Flydubai is currently in the process of shifting its operations to the new hub due to limited slots at Dubai International.
DWC flight movements for the first half were actually down 11 per cent to 18,371 from 20,656 the previous year but average passenger per flight movement increased 34.4 per cent from 90 to 121. It also saw a 3.2 per cent increase in freight from 430,132 tonnes to 443,835 tonnes.
The airport is eventually planned to overtake Dubai International as the emirate’s main aviation hub with plans to increase its capacity from five million passengers to 26 million.
However, the $36bn expansion has been pushed back to next year due to the completion of construction and to allow time for trials and testing.