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Dubai International on course to become fastest growing major international airport

Dubai International is on course to become the world's fastest growing major airport for international passenger traffic in 2009 with Dubai Airports today announcing 9.2% growth for the full year and a record 40.9 million passengers.


Global airport association Airports Council International's (ACI) latest figures reveal 46 of the 50 busiest airports worldwide in terms of international passenger traffic have reported negative growth during the first three quarters of 2009. The only airports other than Dubai International reporting increases are Istanbul (6.3%), Kuala Lumpur (4.6) and Cairo (1.5%).

Dubai International handled a total of 3,816,360 passengers in December 2009 compared to 3,333,424 passengers during the same month in 2008, an increase of 14.5 per cent. This impressive rise marked the seventh consecutive double-digit increase in passenger traffic and the second highest monthly increase after September's 19.5 per cent rise. The full year passenger throughput reached 40,901,752 passengers up 9.2% compared to 37,441,440 passengers recorded in 2008.

HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed 

Cargo volumes were up 5.6 per cent in 2009 following a dramatic 26 per cent jump in December and double-digit increases during the last quarter of 2009. The full year cargo traffic reached 1,927,520 tonnes compared to 1,824,991 tonnes during the same period in 2008. Dubai Airports Cargo handled 182,874 tonnes of freight in December 2009 compared to 145,176 tonnes during the corresponding month in 2008. 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.


HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline & Group, said, "Dubai Airports is setting the pace globally. Dubai International's performance as one of the world's fastest growing airports in 2009 is particularly impressive considering the traffic contraction seen globally. This rapid growth strengthens our commitment to continue building Dubai into a world-class global aviation and logistics hub. If we can set records in a tough economic environment, the sky is the limit for what we can achieve when conditions improve."

"There are a number of distinct advantages that ensure Dubai International's growth," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. "Dubai's location, which puts it just four hours flying time from one-third of the world's population and 12 hours from 80 per cent of the population; an open skies policy that welcomes competition, top notch infrastructure and compelling tourist attractions. All add up to make Dubai a very attractive hub for an ever increasing number of travellers."

CEO Latest 

Dubai Airports' traffic forecast for Dubai International projects 13.6 per cent growth in international passenger traffic in 2010 translating into a throughput of 46 million passengers.


"It's clear 2009 was a year of spectacular growth for Dubai International and we will continue to invest in the future to make sure that we are always able to accommodate more passengers, more flights and deliver a service quality that is world class," said Griffiths. "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."

Editors Notes:

· Dubai is the fastest growing airport in terms of international passengers among the top 50 airports on ACI’s list. (YTD International Passenger Traffic, updated in December).

· Dubai Airports owns and manages the operation and development of both of Dubai’s airports – Dubai International as well as Dubai World Central — Al Maktoum International (DWC-AMI) which is currently under construction.

· Dubai International is the 6th busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic volumes and 5th in international cargo volumes offering connections to over 220 destinations across six continents on more than 130 airlines.

· Dubai Airports Cargo registered double-digit growth in the last quarter of 2009, with 17.6 per cent growth recorded in October, 19.6 per cent in November and 26 per cent in December.

· According to the Airports Council International (ACI), International passenger traffic increased for the first time by 3 per cent while domestic traffic jumped by 5 per cent, the first eleven months of 2009 showed world passenger traffic decreasing by 3 per cent with international traffic declining by 5 per cent and domestic traffic dropping by 2 per cent.