Record numbers for Dubai

Dubai International…in the top 50

Dubai International is on course to become the fastest-growing major airport of 2009 among the top 50 on the Airport Council International’s list.

The airport handled a record 40.9 million passengers in 2009, up 9.2 per cent over 2008, as well as 1.92 million tonnes of cargo, which translates into 5.6 per cent growth over 2008.

The airport recorded double-digit growth in freight in the last quarter with December topping the year with a record 26-per-cent growth.

Dubai International is also the world’s sixth busiest airport in terms of international passengers and fifth busiest in terms of international freight.

Lorne Riley, head of corporate communications, Dubai Airports, said: “It has been a wonderful year for Dubai Airports in every way possible. We’ve had considerable growth in passenger numbers throughout the year, while growth in terms of cargo remained neutral for most of the year and then shot up to double-digit in the last quarter. We celebrated the first anniversary of Terminal Three, and hosted a very successful 10th Dubai Airshow.”

More than 130 airlines currently operate through Dubai International with connections to 220-plus destinations and this is also set to grow as is traffic from flydubai.

Riley…wonderful year

Riley added: “Emirates is our single largest customer and will continue to contribute in a big way to our growth. As a low-cost carrier that will serve scores of destinations across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, flydubai is a great addition to Dubai International’s list of airline customers. Every destination it adds will provide the airport more growth.”

Terminal Three has completed its successful first year of operation during which it handled more than 16.1 million passengers, 96,000-plus flight departures and arrivals and more than 18.7 million pieces of luggage through a baggage system which is one of the longest and deepest of underground systems in the world.

Riley said: “Its immense size and architectural beauty make it awe-inspiring, but what really makes it so popular among customers is the efficiency with which it works. A combination of travelators and Skytrain elevators connecting the underground terminal with the airside facility, the sheer number of self and manual check-in kiosks, immigration counters and e-Gates ensure free- flow of passengers between kerbside and the boarding gates.”

Work is now in progress to build concourse three which will be connected to Terminal Three and meant for the exclusive use of Emirates Airline for its Airbus A380 fleet. Concourse three will be the world’s first airside facility of its kind and size built specially for the super jumbo. Out of its total 20 gates, 18 are dedicated for the A380.