Dubai's DXB welcomes 29.1 million passengers in 2021, remains world’s busiest airport
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Dubai’s DXB welcomes 29.1 million passengers in 2021, remains world’s busiest airport

Dubai’s DXB welcomes 29.1 million passengers in 2021, remains world’s busiest airport

India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger volumes

Dubai International (DXB) retained its spot as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers in 2021 for the eighth consecutive year, welcoming 29,110,609 visitors.

Passenger figures grew 12.7 per cent year-on-year.

DXB’s annual traffic exceeded forecasts for the year by more than half a million passengers, on the back of a strong last quarter during which DXB welcomed 11,794,046 passengers, 77 per cent more than in the previous quarter.

Q4 2021 was also the first time since the start of the pandemic that DXB’s quarterly traffic surpassed the 10 million mark. Meanwhile, December was the busiest month of the year with 4.5 million passengers.

India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger volume, with traffic for 2021 totalling 4.2 million, followed by Pakistan with 1.8 million, Saudi Arabia with 1.5 million, and the UK with 1.2 million passengers. Other destination countries include the US (1.1 million passengers), Egypt (1 million passengers) and the Turkey (945,000 passengers).

DXB’s top destination cities during 2021 were Istanbul with 916,000 passengers, Cairo (905,000), London (814,000) and New Delhi (791,000 passengers). DXB is currently connected to 198 destinations across 93 countries through 84 international carriers.

The number of flight movements at DXB reached 77,671 during the fourth quarter bringing the annual flight movements to 233,375, marking a year-on-year growth of 28.1 per cent. The average number of passengers per flight reached 154, down 18.9 per cent year-on-year.

The airport handled 614,834 tonnes of cargo in the fourth quarter (7.5 per cent) taking the annual freight volume in 2021 up by 20 per cent to 2,319,185 tonnes.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “Despite unprecedented turmoil affecting millions of people all over the world, we overcame many serious obstacles to the operation of the world’s largest international hub and provided smooth, comfortable and safe travel for millions of people travelling through DXB. Despite these serious challenges to our ongoing success, we managed to exceed our own forecasts and continue to retain our crown as the world’s busiest international airport.

“With the eagerly anticipated reopening of key markets such as Australasia and the further easing of travel regulations around the world, the outlook for 2022 is very promising and we are in an excellent position to continue to lead the world’s air travel sector on the road to recovery.”

Current forecasts suggest traffic through DXB could reach 55.1 million by the end of 2022, but Griffiths acknowledges that if current trends continue, that figure could be exceeded by a significant margin.

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