DUBAI Jan 29 Passenger flows through Dubai's
main airport, the world's second busiest for international
traffic, jumped 15.2 percent in 2013 thanks to expansion of its
route network and the use of wide-body planes, airport
authorities said on Wednesday.
Passenger traffic last year totalled a record 66.4 million
people. In December, more than 6 million passengers passed
though the airport for the first time, an increase of 13.6
percent from a year earlier.
At current rates of growth, Dubai will this year surpass
London's Heathrow to become the world's busiest airport for
international traffic. Last year Heathrow's traffic rose 3.4
percent to 72.3 million people, according to data released by
Dubai's double-digit traffic growth rates in recent years
have been based on the emirate's tourism and trade booms.
Flagship airline Emirates and budget carrier flydubai are
expanding their route networks in Africa, eastern Europe and
elsewhere, while the airport last year opened a dedicated
terminal for Airbus A380 superjumbo jets.
India remained Dubai's single largest destination country
last year with 8.4 million passengers, up 14.3 percent. Britain
was second with 5.1 million passengers, up 19.0 percent,
followed by Saudi Arabia, up 34.2 percent to 4.8 million.
Cargo volumes also hit a record in 2013, rising 6.8 percent
to 2.44 million tonnes. In December, cargo rose 8.0 percent to
Dubai launched passenger services at its new Al Maktoum
International airport last year and Emirates is expected to move
operations to the new facility after 2020, a senior executive
said on Tuesday.