Dubai International headed for strong first quarter

Dubai, UAE – March 22–Dubai International is headed for strong growth in the first quarter with Dubai Airports announcing double-digit growth in both passenger and cargo traffic in February.

Passenger traffic rose 22.6 per cent in February, with the airport handling a total of 3,640,323 passengers compared to 2,969,569 passengers during the same month in 2009. The strong growth in February follows record monthly passenger traffic of over 3.8 million in January, bringing the year-to-date passenger throughput to 7,501,848 – up 19.7 per cent over the corresponding period in 2009. The strongest passenger growth numbers in February were recorded in Western Europe, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East as the result of a strong ramp up of capacity into these regions by a variety of airlines.

Dubai Airports Cargo and Logistics handled a total of 171,707 tonnes of freight in February 2010, up 26.7 per cent over the same month in 2009. The year to date cargo traffic has reached 343,160 tonnes as compared to 265,870 tonnes in the first two months in 2009 – an upsurge of 29 per cent. Rising shippers’ confidence and the re-stocking of inventories worldwide is influencing freight volumes that are already buoyed by increasing economic activity, particularly in Asia.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports said, “We were the fastest growing major international airport in 2009 and the figures so far this year are very encouraging. With economic activity picking up globally, Emirates set to launch a number of exciting new routes and the summer travel season fast-approaching, we expect the robust growth to continue over the coming months.”

Airports Council International’s preliminary world airport traffic report for 2009 released last week confirmed Dubai International as the world’s fastest growing airport in terms of international passengers among the top 30 airports. The report also ranks Dubai as the third busiest for international freight and sixth busiest for international passengers for 2009.