The Middle East’s busiest airport just got busier, as Dubai International Airport yesterday announced it beat its own forecasts to serve an extra 6.3 million passengers in 2010.
Passenger traffic shot up more than 15 per cent to a record 47.2 million travellers last year, up from 40.9 million in 2009.
Air freight is up too, the figures show. Cargo traffic jumped nearly 18 per cent to 2.3 million tonnes in 2010.
In a statement, Dubai Airports said that with freight volumes approaching Dubai International’s 2.5-million tonne capacity, the importance of Al Maktoum International airport in Jebel Ali would only increase.
“Dubai has a model, unlike Europe and elsewhere, that recognises aviation’s strategic importance and promotes growth in the sector,” said Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman of Dubai Airports.
Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said the airport’s “growth story” would continue this year, with passengers numbers growing 11 per cent in 2011 to reach 52.2 million.
“We have plans to boost capacity on the ground and in the air to ensure we can accommodate the growth while improving service across the airport,” he said.