Second aviation hub sees 81.5% surge in traffic in 2019
Dubai’s second aviation hub, the Al Maktoum International Airport or Dubai World Central (DWC) saw its passenger traffic surge by a whopping 81.5 percent in the past year, with most of the travellers coming from Russia.
From January to December 2019, at least 1.6 million people passed through the gates of the airport, up by 1.3 million compared to the total number of passengers recorded in 2018.
“The sharp increase in customer numbers was primarily the result of the relocation of operations by a number of international carriers during the 45-day closure of Dubai International’s southern runway [last year],” the Dubai Airports said in a statement.
Several flights from Dubai International were shifted to DWC between April 16 and May 30, 2019 during the repair of the main hub’s southern runway. Dubai’s budget carrier, flydubai alone moved at least 40 flights to the new airport.
Located 40 kilometres from Dubai International, DWC opened its doors in June 2010 for cargo operations and in October 2013 for passenger flights. The hub has the capacity to serve more than 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo per year.
According to Dubai Airports data, Russia emerged as the top country destination for DWC flights, with 549,806 passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia (201,138) and India (193,900). Among the top cities served by the DWC network, Moscow took the number one spot with 253,092 travellers, followed by Budapest (60,098) and Jeddah (55,873).
Among the regions contributing to traffic growth, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) topped the list, accounting for 587,763 passengers.
The second-biggest source of traffic was South Asian flyers, which totaled 380,000, followed by those travelling to and from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region (281,244).