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21 February 2024

DXB Q1 traffic reaches 95.6% of 2019 levels with 21.2m passengers

By E247

Traffic at Dubai International (DXB) has reached 95.6% of 2019 levels with passenger numbers exceeding 21.2 million in the first quarter of the year. This follows DXB’s strong showing last year during which the airport clocked 66m passengers to retain its position as the world’s busiest international hub for the ninth year running.

  • Key facts and figures

DXB’s passenger traffic totalled 21,256,489 during the first three months of the year, up 55.8% compared to the first quarter of 2022, and marking the first time since the fourth quarter of 2019 when average monthly traffic reached the 7-million passenger-mark. March was the busiest month in the first quarter with 7.3 million passengers, which is also the highest monthly traffic since January 2020 when DXB recorded 7.8m passengers.

DXB is currently connected to 234 destinations across 99 countries via 89 scheduled international carriers. 

  • Top destinations

India remained DXB’s top destination country with passenger traffic reaching 3m, followed by Saudi Arabia (1.6m), the UK (1.4m) and Pakistan (1m passengers). Other countries of note include the US (840K passengers), Russia (729K) and Germany (628K), while the list of top cities by passenger numbers was led by London (890K passengers) Mumbai (645K), and Jeddah (641K), followed closely by Riyadh (604K passengers). 

  • Cargo 

DXB handled a total of 400,015 tonnes of cargo during Q1, a contraction of 23% compared to the first quarter of 2022 during which the hub had handled 519,555 tonnes of airfreight. 

  • Flights

Total flight movements during Q1 reached 100,840, a year-on-year increase of 23% and 1.6% higher than Q1 of 2019 when DXB recorded a total of 99,197 movements. With load factors exceeding 2019 levels throughout the first quarter and reaching 80% in March 2023, the passenger per aircraft movement grew 19.5% to reach 220. 

“DXB’s performance in the first quarter has exceeded our expectations and reflects the strong growth in demand that we are continuing to see across our key markets. With important developments in the international travel sector such as the further easing of travel protocols in China, and the upcoming local annual seasonal peaks and festive holidays, our outlook for the second quarter and the remainder of the year remains bullish. Accordingly, we have had to readjust our traffic forecast for 2023 upward to 83.6 million passengers, which will put DXB within striking distance to our 2019 annual traffic” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.