A steady surge of growth throughout the second quarter has propelled Dubai International’s (DXB) half yearly traffic to 27.9 million passengers, just 1.2 million shy of the airport’s total annual traffic last year.
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.
Chief Executive Paul Griffiths revealed the figures live on Dubai Eye 103.8's Business Breakfast on Wednesday morning.
The airport posted a 161.5 per cent growth in passenger numbers for the first half of this year, with 10.6 million travellers using the global hub in the same period in 2021.
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 per cent. The hub welcomed a total of 27,884,888 passengers in the first half of the year, up 161.9 per cent compared to H1 2021. The traffic volume represents 67.5 per cent 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).
During the first six months of 2022, DXB handled a total of 154,993 flight movements, up 55.9 per cent compared to the first half of 2021. The figure represents 87 per cent 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," said Paul Griffiths..
"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."
Based on the strong first half and projection of a stronger second half with average monthly traffic expected to reach 5.6 million passengers, Dubai Airports has readjusted upwards its annual forecast for 2022 to 62.4 million passengers.