Dubai International experienced solid growth across all major markets in March 2015, lifting passenger traffic 7.2 per cent from the same month last year. As the passenger traffic increases, later this year the construction for the expansion of passenger terminal at the Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central will start.
The expansion of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central’s (DWC’s) existing passenger terminal will boost the current capacity of 6 million passengers a year to 26 million. s Dubai International nears its capacity limit due to the rapid growth of passenger traffic, DWC will play an increasingly important role in absorbing additional traffic. The project is a precursor to the $32bn expansion project announced last September to create the world’s biggest airport with an ultimate capacity in excess of 200 million passengers per year.
As part of the existing passenger terminal expansion the check-in area, baggage and immigration halls, as well as security screening areas, will be substantially expanded while the forecourt will be improved to ensure easier access to the parking and drop-off areas. Once complete the passenger terminal will provide a total of 24 boarding gates, 7 baggage reclaim carousels and an increase to 104 check-in desks. Construction is currently expected to be completed by the end of Q1 2017 with the expanded facility opening shortly afterwards following the successful completion of a thorough testing and trial programme.
Passenger traffic in March 2015 totaled 6,736,932 compared to the 6,285,868 passengers recorded in March last year, up 7.2 per cent from the year earlier. This boosted traffic in the first three months of the year to 19,606,327, up 6.8 per cent from the 18,361,820 achieved in the first quarter of 2014.
The growth in passengers continued to be driven mainly by the fast expanding networks of home carriers Emirates airline and flydubai, particularly to Eastern European destinations.
Eastern Europe was the fastest-growing region during March 2015, with a year on year growth of 70.8 per cent. An increase in passenger numbers from Prague and Warsaw due to new Emirates flights introduced during the year and recent new flydubai services to Slovakia, Bosnia, Bulgaria and Croatia and Transavia Airlines to Bulgaria contributed to the sharp increase. Other regions also showing growth were North America (+13.8 per cent) and Asia (+10.5 per cent).
The Russia and the CIS remained weak, with passenger traffic contracting 31.7 per cent due to the continuing economic and social concerns in the region, with most major cities including Moscow, Kiev and St Petersburg recording fewer passengers year on year in March.
India remained Dubai International’s biggest market, with passenger traffic growing 14.9 per cent to 863,046 passengers in March 2015.
Aircraft movements totaled 34,615 in March 2015, up 5.4 per cent from the 32,849 movements in the same month last year. In the first three months of this year aircraft movements totaled 100,214, up 5.8 per cent from the 94,694 movements in the first quarter of 2014.