(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) More than 5m people processed in may despite runway repai
dubai airport overtook london’s heathrow as the world’s number one airport in january 2014.
Dubai international airport remained on top in the world in terms of international passengers for the fifth consecutive month in 2014 despite its runway repair which reduced aircraft movements significantly.
Dubai handled 29.6 million passengers during the first five months of the year while london’s heathrow reported 28.47 million passengers for the same period according to the data released by both the airports’ operators.
By the end of may 2014 passenger numbers rose by 9.2 per cent at dubai international while heathrow recorded only 2.2 per cent growth during the same period.
Dubai airport welcomed more than 5 million passengers during may 2014 despite being reduced to a single runway as the airport’s two runways were consecutively closed for refurbishment.
For dubai international to amass over 5 million passengers during the extensive runway upgrade showcases the plan to manage flights has worked exceptionally well according to a senior aviation analyst.
Passenger numbers dipped 2.5 per cent to 5.08 million passengers in may 2014 down marginally from the 5.23 million passengers recorded in may 2013. this was achieved despite the number of aircraft movements declining 26.6 per cent to 22856 movements in may 2014 down from the 31121 movements recorded during the same month last year.
“the decline is well within tolerance limits and with the runway work due to end in this month the airport will quickly match and beat its usual monthly targets especially as it will coincide with end of ramadan and the start of the european holiday season” saj ahmad chief analyst at london-based strategicaero research told khaleej times.
Many airlines deployed larger aircraft during the runway closures boosting the average number of passengers per flight 22 per cent year on year in may to a record 228 passengers up from 186 in may 2013. this increase was largely driven by emirates’ growing a380 fleet which has been extensively deployed during the runway upgrade programme.
Passenger traffic growth is expected to remain flat or marginally decline until the runway refurbishment programme is completed on july 20 and as the result of a lull in passenger numbers typically recorded during the holy month of ramadan before resuming the strong growth trend achieved in the first four months of the year.
“we are extremely pleased that we were able to top 5 million passengers in may despite being reduced to a single runway. our early consultation with airlines careful planning and slot management has allowed our airlines to accommodate almost the same number of passengers as last year by deploying larger aircraft while protecting service levels for our passengers” said paul griffiths ceo of dubai airports.
“we can look forward to renewed growth in august when both our runways are returned to service in time for the eid and summer holidays” added griffiths.
Regionally during the may period western europe achieved the highest increase in passenger numbers in may followed by north america) asia and australasia.
London overtook mumbai as dubai international’s busiest city destination in may with 3.3 per cent growth. doha jeddah and kuwait rounded out the top five city destinations during the month.
With all dedicated freighters — including all emirates skycargo flights — moving to al maktoum international at dubai world central from the start of the month cargo volumes at dubai international fell 13.3 per cent to 182028 tonnes in may 2014 down from the 209985 tonnes recorded in the same month last year. year to date cargo volumes totalled 1003222 tonnes 0.8 per cent up on the 994817 tonnes recorded in the first five months of last year.