Dubai Airport passengers soar in January



DUBAI – Passenger numbers through Dubai International Airport rose 14 per cent to over 4. 8 million year on year in January, helped by Emirates Airlines’ fast expansion, but cargo continued to suffer amid global uncertainty, falling 2.6 per cent in the same period.

Traffic through Dubai’s main airport, the fourth busiest in the world, hit 4.85 million in January, up 14 per cent versus the 4.25 million recorded in the same month a year ago, Dubai Airports, which owns and runs Dubai International, said in a statement Monday. The January figure surpassed the previous monthly record of 4.72 million in July 2011.

“The fantastic start to the year is partially due to the traffic surge caused by the holiday season, the recently concluded Dubai Shopping Festival and the on-going expansion of the hub network,” said Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths, adding that he expected total passenger traffic in 2012 to reach 56.5 million, up from 51 million last year.

Cargo volumes fared less well “reflecting on-going weaker global air freight demand and fragile consumer confidence” contracting 2.6 per cent to 173,531 tons last month compared to 178,199 tons in January 2011.