Dubai airport’s passenger throughput crosses 8m

Dubai: Passenger throughput at Dubai International Airport, the busiest in the Middle East, crossed the eight million mark in the first quarter this year, an increase of 17.7 per cent over the corresponding period in 2006, a statement said. The airport handled a total of 8.15 million passengers from January to March, compared to 6.89 million in the corresponding period of 2006. January was the busiest month with 2.9 million passengers, while February was the slowest at just over 2.5 million passengers. With a total of 28.78 million passengers in 2006 the airport registered an increase of over 16 per cent over 2005. Passenger traffic is expected to reach 33 million this year and up to 60 million by 2010. The total tonnage of cargo handled during the period under review reached 362,919 tonnes against 334,329 tonnes during the first quarter of 2005, a substantial increase of 8.6 per cent. March was the busiest month for cargo with over 132,400 tonnes, while January and February had a marginal difference at just over 115,000 tonnes for both. There were a total of 63,494 aircraft movements during the period under review, an increase of 9.2 per cent over the first quarter of 2005. With over 21,922 aircraft movements, January was the busiest month, slightly over March (21,847) and February (19,725). Shaikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Group, said that the report is very encouraging and will set the tempo for the remainder of the year. He noted that after a successful year throughout 2006, Dubai International Airport is looking forward to repeating the feat this year. “The region’s aviation sector is the world’s fastest growing, and Dubai being the regional hub for trade, tourism and aviation, a consistent increase in passenger throughput at DIA shouldn’t come as a surprise,” he added. Traffic registers 17.7% rise in first quarter An increase of 9 per cent in aircraft movement during the furst quarter of 2007- An increase of 17.7 per cent in passenger movement compared to the last year figures.- In terms of cargo, the growth is almost 9 per cent compared with last year.- A total of 115 scheduled airlines and 25 frequent charter airlines operating to 200 destinations.