An Emirates Boeing 777 stands at a gate at the Dubai International Airport as another prepares to land on the runway in Dubai on Wednesday. Associated Press
A steady surge of growth throughout the second quarter has propelled Dubai International’s (DXB) half yearly traffic to 27.9 million passengers. DXB achieved the milestone despite a significant reduction in capacity resulting from the 45-day closure of its northern runway in May-June for a major refurbishment project.
Maintaining its growth recovery for the ninth successive quarter since the start of the pandemic, DXB recorded 14.2 million passengers in the second quarter of 2022, a year-on-year jump of 190.6 percent. The hub welcomed a total of 27,884,888 passengers in the first half of the year, up 161.9 percent compared to H1 2021. The traffic volume represents 67.5 percent of DXB’s pre-pandemic passenger traffic during the same period in 2019.
India remained DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers with traffic for the first half reaching 4 million passengers – driven primarily by top city destinations such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. Saudi Arabia was second on the list with 2 million passengers, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 1.9 million passengers. Other country destinations of note include Pakistan (1.7 million passengers), and the US (1.4 million passengers).
The top three cities were London with 1.3 million passengers, Riyadh (910,000 passengers), and Mumbai (726,000 passengers).
DXB handled 390,520 tonnes of cargo in the second quarter, bringing the total freight volume for the first six months of 2022 to 910,075 tonnes.
During the first six months of 2022, DXB handled a total of 154,993 flight movements, up 55.9 percent compared to the first half of 2021. The figure represents 87 percent of the pre-pandemic flight movements at DXB during the first half of 2019.
“DXB’s recovery from the impact of the global pandemic has been spectacular, and that position has been strengthened during 2022, particularly during the second quarter. Not only has Dubai airports been successful in managing the recovery, but customer service quality has been maintained throughout. We knew at the start of the pandemic that the dramatic downturn would be followed by an equally dramatic upturn, so we were well prepared for it and using all of the business data at our disposal were able to predict the start of the recovery. We worked with our service partners across the airport community to be ready and prepared to deliver the consistently smooth and easy experience that our passengers have come to expect at DXB,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai airports.
The baggage handling system at DXB processed a total of 27.1 million bags in the first half of 2022 with a success rate of 99.8 percent.
Dubai International Airport saw a surge in passengers over the first half of 2022 as pandemic restrictions eased and the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar will further boost traffic to the city-state’s second airfield, its chief executive said Wednesday.
Paul Griffiths, who oversees the world’s busiest airport for international travel, told The Associated Press that the airport handled 160% more traffic over the past six months compared to the same period last year, part of an air travel rebound around the world.
The nearly 28 million people who travelled through the airport over the past six months represent some 70% of the airport’s pre-pandemic levels, even as Dubai’s key source market of China remains closed due to severe pandemic restrictions. Griffiths said he expects the airport’s traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of next year.
“It’s a very, very welcome surge of traffic,” Griffiths said.
The first World Cup in the Middle East, he added, will send foreign soccer fans flocking to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, or DWC. From there, they’ll travel daily to Qatar.
“We’ve actually seen a huge amounts of demand at DWC for slot filings for airlines wanting to operate a shuttle service,” he said. “I think the city has a lot to offer and a lot to gain from the World Cup.”
Among the airlines buying extra slots to shuttle soccer fans to the tournament from DWC are Qatar Airways, low-cost carrier FlyDubai and budget airline Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, he said.
During the first half of 2022, Dubai International Airport dealt with nearly 56% more flights than the same period in 2021, when contagious coronavirus variants clobbered the industry.
Now, in a sign of the health of the industry, Emirates said Wednesday that it would pour billions of dollars into retrofitting much of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet. At the height of the pandemic, the airline received a $4 billion government bailout.
WAM/ Associated Press