Dubai Airport Still Top For International Passengers
Dubai International Airport maintained its position as the busiest airport in 2017 for international passenger numbers, with a 5.5 percent increase from the previous year.
Despite a slowing of growth, with December showing just a 1.9 percent increase year-on-year, for the full year DXB added almost 4.6 million passengers to reach a total of 88,242,099.
The most popular destination/origin city was London with 4,011,598 passengers, followed by Mumbai on 2,477,771 and Jeddah with 2,113,820 passengers.
India was by far the largest country market for the airport with a 13.7 percent share of passenger numbers, or 12,060,435. The United Kingdom was in second spot with 6,466,404 passengers, overtaking Saudi Arabia on 6,364,598.
Markets showing the biggest growth last year were Russia with a 28 percent increase in passenger numbers to 1,339,534 and China which jumped 19.4 percent to 2,212,179. The airport attributed the surge in passengers from those markets to a relaxation of visa regulations by the UAE government, allowing visas on arrival for Russian and Chinese visitors.
On cargo, DXB returned modest growth for the year with a 2.4 percent annual increase to 2,654,494 tonnes, after December’s total edged down 0.5 percent to 229,019 tonnes.
Looking forward, the airport’s chief executive Paul Griffiths expects passenger traffic to reach 90.3 million in 2018. He said the focus then will be to expand annual capacity to 118 million passengers through the DXB Plus initiative.
While Dubai is the busiest for international passengers, Atlanta is still the busiest airport in the world with 103.9 million passengers. Beijing’s Capital airport was second with 95.8 million passengers in 2017.