Dubai Airports today released its year-end traffic report which confirm that Dubai International (DXB) has secured its position as the number one airport for international passenger numbers. Full year passenger numbers totalled 70,475,636, up 6.1 per cent from the 66,431,533 recorded in 2013. This followed robust passenger traffic growth of 7.5 per cent in December with 6,498,573 passengers passing through the facility compared to 6,047,126 recorded in the corresponding month last year.

“This historic milestone is the culmination of over five decades of double-digit average growth that were inspired by the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It is a vision that has been carried forward strongly by our leader HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports. “The shared goal is to make Dubai a global centre of aviation and we are nearing that goal thanks to an open skies policy, a friendly business environment, Dubai’s growing attractiveness as a centre for trade, commerce and tourism, growing network connectivity due to the rapid expansion of Emirates and flydubai and timely investment in aviation infrastructure.”

Aircraft movements in December rose 4 per cent to 34,136, up marginally from the 32,832 recorded during December 2013. Full year aircraft movements totalled 357,339 compared to 369,953 versus 2013, a contraction of 3.4 per cent, primarily due to the temporary reduction of flights experienced during the 80 day runway refurbishment project during the summer, and the shift of freighter operators and general aviation to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) earlier this year. Spurred by an ongoing increase in the number of wide bodied aircraft servicing the airport, the numbers of passengers per flight increased 5.1 percent to 208.3 passengers for the full year.

For the full year 2014, the top market for growth in passenger volumes was Western Europe (+1,192,831 passengers) closely followed by the Indian Subcontinent (+936,449 passengers), Asia (+716,180) and North America (+432,597).  In terms of percentage growth* in 2014 Eastern Europe (+21.0 per cent) was the strongest market followed by North America (18.6 per cent), Asia (12.6 per cent), Australasia (9.2 per cent) and Western Europe (8.8 per cent).

Freight volumes at Dubai International totalled 2,367,574 tonnes in 2014 compared to 2,443,624 tonnes in 2013, down 3.1 per cent again due to the shift of freighter operators to DWC. December’s freight volumes decreased by 7 per cent with 202,836 tonnes passing through the facility compared to 218,138 tonnes recorded during the same month last year.

“Much like 2014, 2015 promises to be another eventful year featuring more record passenger numbers and facility upgrades including the opening of Concourse D which will boost Dubai International’s capacity to 90 million,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. “Today we are also releasing our projections for 2015 traffic at Dubai International which forecast 79 million passengers. We will have more flights connecting more people to more destinations. And we will be fully focussed on rolling out technology, new F&B concepts and service initiatives that further enhance the passenger experience.”