Aviation: Dubai airport records highest monthly traffic in 55 years

Dubai International airport, the world's busiest airport by international passengers, recorded the highest monthly traffic of 7.3 million in August - highest in its 55-year history. The passenger per movement during the month was 217, which is among the highest for international hubs and a milestone of efficiency for Dubai airport. "DXB [Dubai International airport] has welcomed over 700 million passengers in its five-and-a-half decade history, clocking an unparalleled average growth rate of over 15 per cent," Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths said in a statement.

India remained the top destination country with financial capital Mumbai as the busiest destination, followed by the UK and Saudi Arabia. London was the top destination city followed closely by Kuwait and Doha, according to Dubai International Airport, which is celebrating its 55th year. The Subcontinent topped the list of regions with highest growth in passenger numbers followed by Western Europe and the GCC. Eastern Europe was the fastest-expanding market in terms of percentage growth followed by North America which benefited from the increase in Emirates' capacity with bigger aircraft to Chicago, Dallas, Houston, and San Francisco, and the added daily flights to both New York and Seattle, Russia & the CIS, and the Middle East, spurred mainly by launch of services to new destinations and additional capacities on Emirates and flydubai among other carriers.

The airport's August traffic reached 7.3 million, up 9.5 per cent from 6.65 million recorded during the same month last year. The year-to-date traffic totalled more than 52 million, showing 12.4 per cent growth compared to 46.5 million recorded during the first eight months last year, according to the data released by Dubai Airports.

The bumper traffic was boosted by the seasonal rush of travellers, including inbound traffic of residents returning for the start of the academic year, as well as increase in flight frequency and launch of new services by Emirates, flydubai and other airlines. During the year, Emirates airline and flydubai launched new routes to Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Italy, India and Saudi Arabia. Emirates airline also increased its capacity on its San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Dallas, and Houston networks. The airline also added daily flights to New York and Seattle in 2015. "With over seven million passengers catered for, almost 10 per cent higher than the same month a year ago highlights the increased demand for travel to and through the airport. This is backed up via the expansion of Emirates organic growth as well of that from flydubai," Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based Strategic Aero Research, said in an emailed statement to Kaleen Times.

Aircraft movements totalled 34,773 during the month compared to 31,214 movements recorded in August 2014, an increase of 11.4 per cent. Year-to-date aircraft movement totalled 268,253, up 18.1 per cent compared to 227,110 recorded during the same period in 2014. Dubai International handled freight volumes totaling 207,427 tones in August compared to 196,986 tonnes recorded in August 2014, up by 5.3 per cent. Year-to-date cargo reached 1.6 million tonnes, up 2.9 per cent compared to 1.6 million tonnes recorded during the first eight months last year.

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