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17 Aug 2022 by Varun Godinho

Dubai International’s (DXB) half yearly traffic has reached 27.9 million passengers, only 1.2 million shy of the airport’s total annual traffic last year.

DXB recorded 14.2 million passengers in the second quarter of 2022, a year-on-year jump of 190.6 per cent.

It welcomed a total of 27,884,888 passengers in the first half of the year, up 161.9 per cent compared to H1 2021. The traffic volume represents 67.5 per cent of DXB’s pre-pandemic passenger traffic during the same period in 2019.

During the first six months of 2022, DXB handled a total of 154,993 flight movements, up 55.9 per cent compared to the first half of 2021. The figure also represents 87 per cent of the pre-pandemic flight movements at DXB in H1 2019.

India remained DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers with traffic for the first half reaching 4 million passengers – driven primarily by destinations including Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad.

Saudi Arabia was second on the list with 2 million passengers, followed closely by the UK with 1.9 million passengers. Other country destinations of note include Pakistan (1.7 million passengers), and the US (1.4 million passengers).

The top three cities were London with 1.3 million passengers, Riyadh (910,000 passengers), and Mumbai (726,000 passengers).

DXB handled 390,520 tonnes of cargo in the second quarter, bringing the total freight volume for the first six months of 2022 to 910,075 tonnes, a contraction of 18.9 per cent.

The airport said in a statement that DXB’s cargo traffic was impacted during the second quarter by the moving of major freight operators back to Dubai World Central (DWC) in March. As a significant portion of the cargo traffic at DXB is carried within the hold of passenger aircraft, the total cargo throughput was affected by the reduction in capacity due to the northern runway refurbishment programme, which took place between May 9-June 22.

The airport shared a few facts about its passenger experience. During the first half, 96 per cent of passengers queued for less than 5 minutes at departure passport control, whilst the average queue times at security check on departures was less than 3 minutes for 97 per cent of total passengers.

The 175km long baggage handling system at DXB processed a total of 27.1 million bags in H1 2022 with a success rate of 99.8 per cent (mishandled baggage rate of 1.75 bags per 1,000 passengers). In terms of baggage delivery on arrival, 92 per cent of all baggage was reportedly delivered within 30 minutes.

Dubai Airports said that it forecasts its average monthly traffic at DXB to reach 5.6 million passengers, and readjusted upwards its annual forecast for 2022 to 62.4 million passengers.

“We knew at the start of the pandemic that the dramatic downturn would be followed by an equally dramatic upturn, so we were well prepared for it and using all of the business data at our disposal were able to predict the start of the recovery. We worked with our service partners across the airport community to be ready and prepared to deliver the consistently smooth and easy experience that our passengers have come to expect at DXB,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.