Dubai International Airport (DXB) has retained its top spot as world’s number one airport for international passengers for the fourth consecutive year although it didn’t meet DXB’s set target. As revealed on Monday about its passenger traffic growth of 2017, number of passengers reached 88.2 million.
The number increased by 5.5 percent in 2017 reaching 88.2 million passengers that fell short of targeted 90 million passengers set by Dubai Airport last year. The passenger traffic averaged to 7.35 million passengers monthly throughout the year with peak travel months January, July and August having breached the 8-million passenger mark, DXB’s traffic reached 88,242,099 passengers for the full year, up 5.5 per cent compared to 83,654,250 passengers recorded during 2016.
DXB added six new scheduled passenger airlines during the year, including SalamAir from Oman, Sudan’s Badr Airlines, and Air Moldova, while home based carriers Airline and flydubai added 3 and 10 new passenger destinations respectively increasing the frequency on 31 and 22 routes respectively.
India continued its domination run as the single largest destination country for DXB with 5.4 % increment marking 12,060,435 passengers in 2017 followed by UK with 6,466,404 passengers (+6.7 per cent), overtaking Saudi Arabia which recorded 6,364,598 passengers (4.6 per cent).
Top regions in terms of percentage growth in 2017 were South America (36.1 per cent), Eastern Europe (25.3 per cent) and Asia (17.9 per cent) was due to network expansion by Emirates, flydubai and other carriers.
The most significant growth during the year included Russia with passenger numbers surging 28 per cent to 1,339,534 and China with 2,212,179 passengers, up 19.4 per cent over 2016 after the relaxation of visa regulations by the UAE to offer visa on arrival for both Russian and Chinese visitors.
London retained its position as the top destination city with 4,011,598 passengers, followed by Mumbai with 2,477,771 passengers and Jeddah with 2,113,820 passengers.
The average number of passenger per flight grew 6.9 per cent to 223 during the year compared to 209 for 2016 due to DXB being world’s largest hub for wide body aircraft, particularly for the A380 but the number of flight movements during 2017 totaled 409,493, down 2.4 per cent compared to 419,654 recorded in 2016.
CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths said that overall it was successful year for DXB as they not only achieved robust growth in traffic to maintain the top position as the world’s number one international airport but also delighted customers with a range of new and exciting services and innovative products. The focus in the New Year will be on the DXB Plus programme which aims to expand the airport’s annual capacity to 118 million passengers through process improvements and use of new technology, he added.