Dubai International (DXB) welcomed 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019, maintaining its position as the world’s largest international airport by traffic volume.
The closure of one of DXB’s two runways between April 16 and May 30 for a complete rehabilitation programme reduced the airport’s capacity, contributing to a decline in traffic of 5.6% year on year, according to a press statement from Dubai Airports.
A total of 41,277,749 customers travelled through DXB during the first half of 2019 (-5.6%). The closure of the southern runway for refurbishment halved the hub’s runway capacity leading to a reduction of 32% in passenger flights over a 45-day period.
A total of 1,036,474 tonnes of airfreight was handled at DXB during the first half this year, down 18.3%. A significant portion of the cargo traffic at DXB is bellyhold which was impacted by the southern runway rehabilitation programme.
Total passenger flights during the first six months of 2019 totalled 178,383, down 11.6% from last year, also due to the 45-day closure of the southern runway.
India remained DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the first half reaching 5.7 million customers – propelled mainly by top city destinations Mumbai and Delhi. Saudi Arabia was number two on the list with 3.1 million customers, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 2.8 million customers. Other destination countries of note include Pakistan (1.9 million customers), the U.S. (1.5 million), and China (1.2 million).
The top three cities were London (1.6 million customers), Mumbai (1.1 million customers) and Jeddah with just over 1 million customers each.
Thanks to DXB’s advanced operations centre which uses real-time information to improve service and efficiency, as well as the smart gates that help speed customers through immigration, wait times were reduced by 25% in the first half of 2019, according to the statement.
A total of 35 million bags (-3.9%) passed through the airport’s advanced 175 km long baggage system during the first half.