Passenger traffic through Dubai International Airport exceeded 6.4 million in January, up 15.1 per cent from a year earlier, airport authorities said on Wednesday.
The passenger numbers were boosted by the seasonal rush of holidaymakers into Dubai and due to local attractions such as Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Airports said in a statement.
GCC passengers constituted a major portion of traffic last month with 180,982 travellers visiting Dubai followed by passengers from Western Europe (140,910) and India (126,305).
Eastern Europe was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth with 42 per cent of travellers, followed by Australia and Asia Pacific constituting 34.5 and 26.7 per cent growth in passenger traffic respectively.
India topped the list of destination countries with 800,397 passengers, while Saudi Arabia and the UK came second and third with 514,071 and 435,806 passengers respectively.
Aircraft movements totalled 32,625 during January compared to 31, 332 in the corresponding period last year. Passenger per aircraft movement came in at 199, the statement said.
Freight volumes in January 2014 totalled 197,021 tonnes, up by 4.5 per cent, compared to 188,520 tonnes recorded in January 2013.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said that the timely expansion of infrastructure and utilisation has helped to increase the efficiency.
“Our new Concourse A is a case in point. With 10,608 A380 scheduled flights to 26 destinations in 2013, Concourse A has helped Dubai International enhance its status as the world’s largest hub for Airbus A380 operations in its first full year of operations,” he said.
Concourse A, which opened on January 2 last year, handled 14,596,893 passengers and more than 22 million bags in its first full year of operations.
Dubai International handled 66,431,533 passengers in 2013, buoyed by a record-breaking December when numbers exceeded six million for the first time.
The opening of the Emirates-dedicated Concourse A, the world’s first dedicated concourse for A380s, and the Emirates-Qantas partnership helped fuel the extraordinary 15.2 per cent annual growth, authorities said.
The budget carrier flydubai’s rapid expansion was also another contributory factor, the statement said.
Overall, the airport also added 28 new passenger destinations in 2013.