The FINANCIAL — Dubai International experienced solid growth across all major markets in March 2015, lifting passenger traffic 7.2 per cent from the same month last year, according to the latest traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports on May 5.
Passenger traffic in March 2015 totalled 6,736,932 compared to the 6,285,868 passengers recorded in March last year, up 7.2 per cent from the year earlier. This boosted traffic in the first three months of the year to 19,606,327, up 6.8 per cent from the 18,361,820 achieved in the first quarter of 2014, according to Dubai Airports.
The growth in passengers continued to be driven mainly by the fast expanding networks of home carriers Emirates airline and flydubai, particularly to Eastern European destinations.
Eastern Europe was the fastest-growing region during March 2015, with a year on year growth of 70.8 per cent. An increase in passenger numbers from Prague and Warsaw due to new Emirates flights introduced during the year and recent new flydubai services to Slovakia, Bosnia, Bulgaria and Croatia and Transavia Airlines to Bulgaria contributed to the sharp increase. Other regions also showing growth were North America (+13.8 per cent) and Asia (+10.5 per cent).
The Russia and the CIS remained weak, with passenger traffic contracting 31.7 per cent due to the continuing economic and social concerns in the region, with most major cities including Moscow, Kiev and St Petersburg recording fewer passengers year on year in March.
India remained Dubai International’s biggest market, with passenger traffic growing 14.9 per cent to 863,046 passengers in March 2015.
Aircraft movements totalled 34,615 in March 2015, up 5.4 per cent from the 32,849 movements in the same month last year. In the first three months of this year aircraft movements totalled 100,214, up 5.8 per cent from the 94,694 movements in the first quarter of 2014.
Dubai Airports’ strategic decision to move all dedicated freighters to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) in May last year has resulted in a significant shift of cargo volumes from Dubai International to DWC over the past few months. Cargo volumes at Dubai International volumes fell 4.9 per cent in March with 216,879 tonnes passing through the facility compared to 228,154 tonnes recorded during the same month last year. Year-to-date cargo traffic totalled 594,696 tonnes compared to 613,876 tonnes recorded in the first 3 months of 2014, down 3.1 per cent.
“The growth in the first quarter puts us on track to meet our forecast of more than 79 million passengers in 2015 and cement our position as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers. It is clear that an increasing number of travellers prefer Dubai International to connect them to the more than 280 destinations directly linked to Dubai while enjoying the world-class facilities on offer while on the ground,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports.