Dubai Airport's traffic surges 15% to 47.2 million in 2010, targets 11% increase in 2011

Dubai International Airport reported a 15% increase in passenger numbers in 2010 to 47.2 million, reflecting improvements in the global economy, Emirates' ongoing expansion and the commencement of more routes to/from Dubai. Some 22 routes were launched in the past year by several new airlines to the airport, including Garuda Indonesia, airberlin, Kingfisher and China Eastern.

The result was comfortably ahead of the airport's initial projection of 46.1 million passengers. Cargo traffic at Dubai International rose 17.7% to 2.3 million tonnes in 2010.

Dubai Airports is targetting an 11% increase in passenger volume in 2011 to around 52.2 million. The 2011 forecast does not include traffic at the new Al Maktoum airport, which was due to open in Mar-2011, but has been delayed.

Passenger growth accelerated from a 9.2% increase in 2009. Dubai Airports Chief Executive, Paul Griffiths, stated: "As a result, we have plans to boost capacity on the ground and in the air to ensure we can accommodate the growth while improving service across the airport."

"All of our 130 airlines are posting strong growth figures, and of course growth from our [local] airlines such as Emirates and flydubai is significant," he said. "They're taking on more aircraft and more routes, forming the backbone of our growth."

Concourse 3 is on track for completion by the end of next year, which will add capacity for 15 million passengers by providing 20 A380-compatible gates, taking DIA's total capacity to 75 million passengers.

Dubai surged further ahead of Singapore Changi Airport, which handled 42 million passengers in 2010, a 13.0% increase over 2009.

It also increased the gap on UAE rival, Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC), which reported that Abu Dhabi International Airport (ADIA) handled almost 11 million passengers in 2010, a 12.2% year-on-year increase. See related report: Abu Dhabi Airport enjoys 12% rise in passenger traffic in 2010

Of the main listed airport operators yesterday, Fraport gained again (+3.1%) after raising its outlook earlier in the week, while AdP rose 1.6%.

Selected airport daily share price movements (% change): 26-Jan-2011