Dubai Airport reports pax traffic bounces back a year on from ash cloud; cargo struggles

Dubai International Airport reported a 13.2% increase in passenger numbers in Apr-2011 to 4.23 million. The strong growth reflects the weaker base for comparison last year from the Icelandic volcano ash cloud, which shut European airspace for several days.

Year-to-date passenger traffic is up 8.5% to 16.5 million. Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: "We have surpassed the 4 million passenger mark three out of the first four months of the year and that trend is set to continue; our busiest summer ever is just around the corner."

Dubai International Airport monthly passenger numbers: 2009 to 2011

Middle East routes hit by unrest

The Gulf region recorded the largest increase in total passenger numbers in Apr-2011, surging 29.1% (+153,864 passengers), followed by Western Europe which grew by 20.1% (+142,185). Routes to the Indian Subcontinent recorded 9.4% growth (+83,718 passengers), while those to Russia and the CIS grew by 25.4% (+22,286 passengers). Middle Eastern routes witnessed a drop of 2.4% (-9,581), as traffic continues to be affected by political unrest.
Aircraft movements for the month totalled 26,597, up 6.7% from 24,917 recorded during the same period last year.

Freight under pressure

Dubai International handled 179,397 tonnes of international air freight in April, up 5.6% from the 169,902 tonnes recorded during the same period in 2010. The year-to-date freight volume has reached 686,679 tonnes, a contraction of 0.3% compared with 688,537 tonnes for the corresponding period last year.