Dubai: Dubai International (DXB) is the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger numbers for an eighth consecutive year after recording 29.1 million traffic in 2021. Dubai Airports, citing current forecasts, said traffic via DXB could reach 55.1 million by the end of this year. It could even top that figure by a “significant margin” if current trends continue.
DXB’s traffic in 2021 exceeded estimates for the year by more than half a million passengers, thanks to a strong final quarter, the airport operator said in a statement. “Despite unprecedented unrest affecting millions of people around the world, we overcame many serious obstacles to the operation of the world’s largest international hub and provided a smooth, comfortable and safe journey for millions of people traveling via DXB” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
“This incredible performance by all of our staff and stakeholders has been achieved in the face of drastic changes in travel regulations and concerns about new waves of infection. With the much-anticipated reopening of key markets such than Australasia and the further relaxation of global travel regulations, the outlook for 2022 is very bright and we are in a great position to continue to lead the global airline industry on the path to recovery.”
Path to recovery
DXB welcomed 29,110,609 passengers in 2021, an annual growth of 12.7%. The figures were propelled by robust growth in the last three months of the year, in which DXB recorded more than 11 million passengers, 77% more than in the previous quarter.
It was the busiest quarter since the first quarter of 2020, and the first time since the start of the pandemic that DXB’s quarterly traffic exceeded the 10 million mark. December was the busiest month of the year with 4.5 million passengers.
India maintained its position as the top destination country for DXB in terms of passenger volume, with passenger traffic for 2021 totaling 4.2 million, followed by Pakistan with 1.8 million, Saudi Arabia with 1 .5 million and from the UK with 1.2 million passengers. Other notable destination countries include the United States (1.1 million passengers), Egypt (1 million) and Turkey (945,000 passengers).