DUBAI, June 30 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
"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
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)