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Dubai International Airport reports 70% dip in passenger traffic in 2020

Dubai International Airport reports 70% dip in passenger traffic in 2020

A total of 2.19 million passengers travelled through the airport in December 2020

Dubai International (DXB) airport welcomed a total of 25.9 million customers in 2020, marking a decrease of 70 per cent compared to 2019.

However, a total of 2.19 million passengers travelled through the airport in December 2020, noting a considerable rebound.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, commented: “In the past year we have witnessed the most difficult circumstances the travel industry has ever faced. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt not only in our sector, but across the entire world. These DXB passenger traffic figures are reflective of that testing environment, but also come with an element of hope and confidence.

“An integral part of recovery for the travel and tourism industry is rebuilding the confidence of travellers, and one way to do this is through a vaccination programme, similar to what is currently being carried out by the UAE government. This, along with technology that will allow for seamless and contactless travel, will once encourage more people to get on a plane. In addition, we have transformed our DXB and DWC cargo operations. As an intercontinental hub, we are well positioned to support the distribution of vaccines from the countries manufacturing them, to the world.”

During the first quarter of 2020, DXB saw 17.8 million customers – a slide of 20 per cent – travel through the airport. For the first time in the 60-year history of the airport, commercial flights came to almost entire halt in April 2020, as directed by the UAE government. Over the subsequent months, some 4,100 specially organised and repatriation flights from DXB and DWC allowed more than 500,000 travellers to return to their home countries.

On June 23, 2020, the UAE airspace was officially re-opened and travel permitted to Dubai from July 7, 2020. These regulatory changes had a positive impact as the average customer traffic figures in Q3 and Q4 peaked at 1.3 million.

Read: Dubai reopens to international tourists

There are now 142 destinations served from DXB in 80 markets on 56 airlines.

India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger numbers, with traffic for 2020 reaching 4.3 million, followed by the United Kingdom with 1.89 million customers and Pakistan coming in third with 1.86 million passengers. Other destination countries of note include Saudi Arabia with 1.45 million customers in 2020.

The top three cities were London (1.15 million customers), Mumbai (772 thousand customers) and New Delhi with 722 thousand customers.

Flights and cargo
DXB handled 49,603 movements during the fourth quarter of 2020, down 49.8 per cent, bringing the annual flight movements to 183,993, recording a stumble of 51.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, DXB handled 571,718 tonnes of cargo in the fourth quarter, with the annual airfreight volume reaching 1,932,022 tonnes during 2020.

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