Dubai to become world’s busiest international airport by 2015: CEO
Dubai Airports CEO, Paul Griffiths, announced he expects the Dubai International Airport to become the busiest airport in the world for international passenger traffic as early as 2015, when it is expected to handle 75 million international passengers (Reuters/AFP, 04-May-2011). Mr Griffiths said Dubai Airports expects the total number of passengers travelling through Dubai’s airports, Dubai International and the new Al Maktoum International, to increase 7.2% each year until 2020, which will see the airport system 98.5 million passengers by 2020. This figure would be double what the airport achieved its 2010 figure of 47.2 million. Over the past 50 years, passenger traffic has increased at an average annual rate of 15.5%. “Increased liberalisation, GDP growth and increasingly affluent and mobile populations in emerging markets will combine to propel air travel growth worldwide,” he said. Mr Griffiths also identified the combination of rallying tourism and Dubai’s established role as a trading hub linking economies in the Far East, Europe, Africa and North America, as key advantages. Concourse 3 at Dubai International, which will be wholly dedicated to A380 aircraft, is shceduled to open in 2012, when Al Maktoum International will also commence passenger services. Home carrier Emirates has 90 A380s on firm order and said recently it could “easily” increase the order to 120. Cargo volumes are expected to grow 7.2% annually over the period, which will see the airport handle 4.1 million tonnes of air freight by 2020.