Dubai tops 5 million passengers in the first quarter

Photo: Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport (DXB) says it is serving almost two-thirds of the destinations for which it catered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic on 74 percent of the airlines.

The major global hub served 5.75 million passengers in the first quarter of 2021, down 67.8 percent on the largely COVID unaffected first quarter of 2020.

This was boosted by more than 2 million passengers during March.

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“Whilst passenger numbers for the first quarter remained significantly below the monthly volumes we handled before March 2020, in the context of the current global situation they are very encouraging and reflect the consolidation phase in our business recovery,” Dubai chief executive Phil Griffiths said.

“Despite the ongoing challenges to air travel as the world continues to battle against the impact of the global pandemic, as an important hub, DXB will continue to play its role of enabling mobility and connectivity and contribute to the much-needed social and economic recovery globally.”

Total flight movements at the airport in the first quarter were down 38.3 percent to 50, 176 but there was a 3.2 percent rise in cargo despite a reduction in belly capacity.

India, which is traditionally a strong market for the UAE, retained its position as DXB’s top destination country with traffic for Q1 reaching 1,384,448, the airport said. The figures preceded the current COVID crisis in India, which has seen services to and from the United Arab Emirates suspended.

The Indian figures were powered by top city destinations New Delhi and Mumbai. Pakistan was placed second with 454,294 customers, followed by Bangladesh (221,027 customers) and Russia (196,890 customers). Other destination countries of note include Egypt and Turkey.

The top three cities were New Delhi (262,035 customers), Dhaka (178,593) closely followed by Addis Ababa (169,715 customers).