Dubai airport handled a total of 4,70,296 passengers in December, compared to 3,535,882 passengers during the same month the previous year – an increase of 15.3 percent. This was the seveth consecutive double digit monthly increase in passenger traffic seen by the airport. The full year passenger throughput reached 47.2 million passengers for 2010, compared to 42.9 million passengers recorded in 2009.
Cargo volumes were up also up 2.9 percent in 2010, following a 19 percent jump in December volumes. The full year cargo traffic reached 188,103 tonnes in 2010, compared to 182,874 tonnes during 2009. Cargo growth was mainly driven by major international conventions and events, a gradual improvement in the global economy and expansion by the airport's largest cargo carrier Emirates Airline, the statement said.
The airport is predicted to see continued growth this year with a forecast of 11 percent growth to 52.2 million passengers.
“Dubai International has capacity for 60 million passengers per year, and that will increase to 75 million passengers when Concourse 3 is completed in 2012," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Altogether, more than 130 airlines operate out of Dubai International, serving approximately 220 destinations on six continents, and an average of 100,000 passengers transit the airport daily.
The $4.5bn Terminal 3 has 59 passenger loading bridges, 220 check-in counters, 14 baggage belts running 80km, 157 elevators and 97 escalators, 2,600 underground parking spaces and nearly 15,000 sq metres devoted to duty-free. Other facilities include a 300-room hotel and health club, an 800-passenger capacity Emirates First Class Lounge and a Business Class Lounge for 1,200.
Meanwhile, work is also in progress on the first phase of Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International - which will eventually become the world’s largest international airport with six runways, a capacity of 120 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo per year.
Founded in 1985 with just two aircraft, Emirates now flies to over 116 destinations in 68 countries as well as operates four of the longest non-stop commercial flights worldwide – from Dubai to Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, Houston and San Francisco.
New routes added this year include Seattle,Barcelona, Dallas, Buenos and Dublin. As well as increasing its A380 fleet and introducing this mega jumbo on flights from Jeddah,New York and Beijing,in addition to London Heathrow, Bangkok, Sydney, Auckland, Paris,Seoul and Toronto – more than 125 other airlines also serve 220 destinations from Dubai International Airport.
Owned by the Government of Dubai, the UAE's fourth airline launched in 2009, as an aim at both extending the route network served from the country with a no-frills option as well as operating to second-tier airports underserved by major airlines.Fly Dubai operates on a low-cost ticketless model with fares inclusive of all taxes, but additional charges levied for checked-in baggage, seat selection, inflight food and drink. Fly Dubai plans to have 70 destinations by 2014.