Transport Airports

Dubai airport crosses Hong Kong to become 3rd busiest globally

Jan 28, 2013 9:30 am

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Future of long haul aviation is being built wholesale in the greater Emirates region.

— Rafat Ali

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Passenger flows through Dubai’s main airport jumped 13.2 percent last year, helping the airport overtake Hong Kong to become the world’s third busiest for international passenger traffic, airport authorities said on Monday.

Dubai’s passenger traffic surged to 57.68 million people in 2012 from 50.98 million during 2011, Dubai Airports said. In the month of December, passengers rose 13.4 percent to 5.32 million.

Hong Kong International Airport said earlier this month that its passenger traffic increased 4.7 percent to 56.5 million people last year. The world’s two busiest airports for international passenger traffic are London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle, according to Airports Council International.

India was Dubai International’s single biggest country destination in terms of passenger numbers last year, with traffic rising 7.4 percent to 7.34 million.

Dubai opened a huge, purpose-built facility for A380 superjumbo jets this month and the airport expects to handle 65.4 million passengers in 2013, said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.

The airport’s freight volumes rebounded towards the end of last year, helping total volume for 2012 rise 3.9 percent to 2.28 million tonnes. In December, cargo volume rose 6.5 percent to 201,949 tonnes.

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