Passenger traffic at the Dubai International Airport surpassed six million in March, up 7.5 per cent from the same period last year, according to airport authorities.
It is the third time in the last four months that the airport’s passenger numbers have exceeded six million, largely boosted by the expanding networks of Emirates and flydubai.
Dubai International’s passenger traffic in the first quarter also rose significantly to around 18 million visitors, up 11.4 per cent from the same period last year.
The Indian subcontinent contributed the most towards passenger traffic in March with 112,953 travellers, followed by Western Europe (75,283) and the GCC (60,280).
Australia was the fastest expanding market, growing at 21.9 per cent, followed by North America (19.1 per cent) and Asia (13.9 per cent).
Aircraft movements totalled 32,849 inMarch compared to 31, 713 in the corresponding period last year. Total aircraft movements reached 94,694 during Q1 2014, significantly higher than the 91,130 in Q1 2013.
Freight volumes in March amounted to 228,154 tonnes, up 6.7 per cent compared to the 213,748 tonnes recorded in March 2013. Freight volumes climbed five per cent to reach 613,876 during the first three months of the year.
“The growth at the airport stems from the greater number of services provided regionally and internationally by flydubai and Emirates,” said Saj Ahmad, aviation analyst at StrategicAero Research.
“This sort of expansion furthers the need to expedite additional capacity growth to cater for demand and with Al Maktoum Airport now open to passenger flights as well as helping out during the runway works for new services, Dubai is well placed for both airports to sustain the passenger traffic growth.
“The challenge however, will be getting more airspace up to commercial usage and dilute military needs going forward.”
Dubai International is one of the busiest airports in the world but growth is predicted to slow down as the airport commences the refurbishment work of its runways in May. Flight traffic is expected to be cut by 26 per cent during the work.
“The growth in passenger and freight traffic supports our continued investment in expanding and improving our facilities at Dubai International,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“We not only want to increase our capacity to accommodate more passengers but continually refine the service we offer our customers.”