Dubai International (DXB) has maintained its position as the world’s busiest hub for international passengers with traffic reaching 64.5 million passengers, down by 4.5%, in the first nine months of 2019, sister publication Arabian Business reported.
A total of 23,217,492 passengers travelled through DXB in the third quarter, down 2.4% compared to the same period last year.
The slight contraction in year to date numbers was mainly the result of the closure of one of DXB’s two runways for 45 days for a runway rehabilitation project during May-April, as well as the impact of the worldwide grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft since March this year.
Waiting times across DXB were reduced by 15% in the first nine months of 2019, Dubai Airports said, adding that it also handled a total of 54.5 million bags during the same period.
DXB said in a statement that it handled a total of 636,575 tonnes of cargo in the third quarter, a decrease of 5.9%, taking the year to date figure to 1,886,237 tonnes, down 4.1%.
A bulk of the cargo traffic at DXB is belly-hold which was impacted by reduction in capacity during the runway rehabilitation project.
With 97,498 flights recorded in the third quarter, the year to date flight numbers reached 275,882, down 9.9% from last year.
India held its position as DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the first nine months reaching 8.8 million, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.8 million and the United Kingdom with 4.6 million. Other destination countries of note included Pakistan (3 million), the US (2.4 million), and China (1.9 million).
The top three cities were London (2.7 million), Mumbai (1.7 million) and Riyadh with 1.6 million.