Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport rose 23 per cent in May, the airport authorities have revealed.
The airport registered 6.2 million travellers in May, compared to almost five million in the corresponding period of 2014.
During the first five months of 2015, Dubai International received approximately 32.3 million passengers compared to 29.6 million during the same period last year – up by some 9 per cent.
Eastern Europe continued to be the fastest growing point of origin for passengers to Dubai, mainly driven by new services launched by flydubai and Emirates.
In terms of total passenger numbers, the Indian subcontinent saw the largest growth followed by Gulf Cooperation Council states and Western Europe, the operator Dubai Airports said.
The number of flights to Dubai airport rose by nearly 49 per cent in May to reach 34,000. Dubai Airports also claimed that the previous year’s figure was slightly skewed as one of the runways was closed for maintenance. This led to diversions for a number of flights to the Al Maktoum International Airport, lowering the overall flight numbers in May 2014.
Dubai International’s freight volumes rose by more than 15 per cent in May to reach over 216,000 tonnes compared to 187,000 tonnes in May 2014.
Dubai, which is aiming to be a major aviation hub, overtook London’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international travellers last year.
Earlier this year, Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths said that the emirate’s two major international airports expected to receive around 200 million passengers by 2030.
“By 2020, we expect Dubai International to have ultimate capacity of 100 million. By 2020, the traffic projections for the amount of air travel through Dubai will reach 126 million,” he said.
Anticipating such growth, Dubai Airports has also been investing massively to build adequate infrastructure to accommodate the passenger load.
Dubai Airports is currently implementing a $7.8bn expansion plan including building Concourse 3 and revamping Terminal 2. Another major concourse is scheduled to open later this year.
Last year, Dubai government also announced an investment of $32bn to expand the emirate’s Al Maktoum International Airport to handle over 200 million people annually by the start of the next decade.