Passenger traffic at Dubai World Central (DWC), the emirate’s second airport, increased 95.4 per cent in the first half of the year, according to operator Dubai Airports.
Passenger numbers in the first half totalled 410,278 up from 209,989 in the first half of 2015.
The increase was mainly driven by low cost carrier flydubai, which now operates 35 weekly flights from the airport to five destinations with more planned this winter.
“Flydubai’s handful of routes has helped swell numbers for the first half, the real growth will emerge late next year when the airline moves it’s entire operations to Dubai World Central and become the largest operator there,” said Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.
“Not only will this unlock flydubai’s true organic growth strategy, it will also favour cost and time conscious travellers who can benefit from DWC’s available capacity which in turn drives further passenger appeal.”
Overall, 17 passenger carriers operate 174 flights per week to 39 destinations from the airport. A further 34 scheduled cargo operators fly to 141 destinations.
DWC saw a 4.8 per cent increase in aircraft movements to 18,126, compared to 17,302 in H1 of 2015, while freight volumes were up 2.9 per cent to 430,132 tonnes.
“We are very pleased with the way DWC has performed in the first half and look forward to all round growth during the remainder of the year. Already one of the world’s top 20 international cargo hubs, we hope to see DWC play an increasingly important role for passenger operations as it undergoes expansion to accommodate 26 million passengers by 2018,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Last year the airport saw a significant dip in passenger traffic after runway refurbishment at Dubai International boosted numbers in 2014.