Dubai Airports has upped again its annual forecast for passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) to 64.3 million following a strong performance by the hub in the third quarter, and the prospects of a stronger surge in the offing in the final three months of 2022.
DXB started the second half of the year with a bang, with average monthly traffic exceeding the 6-million mark throughout the third quarter. The hub recorded 18.5 million passengers in Q3, the first time that quarterly traffic reached pre-pandemic levels since 2020. DXB had recorded 17.8 million passengers in the first quarter of 2020 prior to the pandemic.
“The growth in passenger traffic has been terrific throughout the year and continues to exceed our expectations by a margin. While we are thrilled with the numbers, what really gives us immense satisfaction is how the airport community is working together like a well-oiled machine to keep raising the bar on service quality. Our collaborative approach and service transformation initiatives are making a tangible difference in the happiness of our customers, and that remains our ultimate measure of success” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Key facts and figures
Passenger volumes at DXB recorded a triple-digit surge in the third quarter to reach 18,455,938, propelling the year-to-date September traffic to 46,340,826 passengers, a year-on-year increase of 167.6%. The YTD traffic volume represents 72% of DXB’s pre-pandemic passenger traffic during the same period in 2019.
Impacted by the moving of all major freight operators from DXB back to Dubai World Central (DWC) in March, Cargo continued to register a softening of demand in Q3. DXB recorded 397,676 tonnes of freight in Q3, bringing the total volume for the first nine months of 2022 to 1,307,691 tonnes, a year-on-year drop of 23.3%.
Flight movements in Q3 surged to 98,577 at DXB, propelling the number of flight movements recorded between January and September to 274,911, up 159.5% year-on-year.
India was DXB’s top country destination in terms of traffic volume, recording 6.8 million passengers in the first nine months of the year. Saudi Arabia was placed second with 3.4m passengers followed by the UK (3.2m passengers) and Pakistan (2.7m passengers). Other country markets of note were the US and Australia with 2.2m and 1.1m in passenger traffic respectively. The top three cities by traffic were London (2m passengers), Riyadh (1.5m), and Mumbai (1.3m).