DUBAI, June 30 (Reuters) - Passenger traffic through Dubai's main airport fell 2.5 percent from a year earlier to 5.09 million people in May because of construction work on its two runways, operator Dubai Airports said on Monday.
Dubai International, one of the world's busiest airports, is cutting back flights for an 80-day period from May 1 as first one runway and then the other is closed for resurfacing and other construction work.
Under a plan announced in April, flights through Dubai International are to be cut by 26 percent during the period. Eight airlines flying into Dubai International are to divert to the emirate's new Al Maktoum International Airport, boosting the flights it handles each week to over 600 from 80.
During the first five months of this year, Dubai International's passenger traffic rose 9.2 percent to 29.61 million people.
"Passenger traffic growth is expected to remain flat or marginally decline until the runway refurbishment programme is completed on July 20, and as the result of a lull in passenger numbers typically recorded during the holy month of Ramadan," which began on Sunday, Dubai Airports said.
It predicted passenger traffic would then resume growing strongly.
Cargo volumes at Dubai International fell 13.3 percent to 182,028 tonnes in May after all dedicated freighter flights moved to Al Maktoum. Cargo volumes for the first five months rose 0.8 percent to 1.00 million tonnes. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)