SYDNEY (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) - Dubai Department of Civil Aviation reports passenger numbers at Dubai International Airport rose 13.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2005 to 11.8 million. The airport is quickly catching up to Singapore Changi, which handled 15.5 million passengers in the same period, up 7.3% year-on-year.
Dubai’s rapid growth and development of infrastructure threatens to “seriously undermine” Singapore's position as a global air hub, according to Singapore’s Minister for Information and Communications, Dr Balaji Sadasivan, in a speech earlier this month.
Singapore is also concerned that new large and long-range aircraft also threaten its role. For example, Qantas’ RFP for a new widebody fleet of aircraft issued last week specifically calls for “hub-busting” aircraft, to help it by-pass airports such as Singapore.
Meanwhile, the Arab Air Carriers Organisation reports continuing strong demand for travel to, from and within the region. Passenger traffic is expected to reach 150 million by the end of 2005, up almost 20% year-on-year.
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