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Dubai international airport traffic increases, signal industry rebound

Dubai, Feb 23 (Calcutta Tube) Dubai international airport started the New Year on a high note with more than 3.86 million passengers using the facility in January 2010, WAM news agency reported Tuesday.

This is the eighth consecutive month of double-digit passenger traffic growth and the highest single month passenger total ever recorded at Dubai International surpassing the previous record of 3.81 million passengers in December 2009.

According to the monthly traffic figures announced by Dubai Airports Tuesday, passenger traffic swelled to 3,861,525 in January 2010, as compared to 3,300,907 in January 2009, an increase of 17 percent.

Cargo continued its strong upward trend with the fourth consecutive month of double-digit increases with freight volumes surging 31.5 percent.

Dubai Airports Cargo handled 171,453 tonnes of freight in January 2010 compared to 130,375 tonnes during the same month in 2009. Air freight traffic is widely viewed as a leading indicator of economic activity.

‘Dubai is on the leading edge of a rebound in global air traffic,’ said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

‘Dubai International has been registering robust growth since the second quarter of 2009 when the industry’s key hubs were still recording negative growth. Globally, recent IATA (International Air Transport Association) and ACI (Airports Council International) figures indicate the gradual return of passenger and cargo volumes as the world economy improves.

‘January’s impressive increases at Dubai International are a promising sign that an industry recovery is indeed underway,’ he added.

The steep increase in freight volumes in January is the result of a surge in economic activity as well as the continued expansion of Emirates Skycargo both of which contributed to a 39.9 percent rise in trans-shipments, a 33.6 percent increase in exports and a 29.3 percent uplift in imports.

‘Freight growth is likely to continue throughout the rest of the year as additional capacity comes on line and global cargo movement picks up,’ said Griffiths. A portion of that traffic growth will be accommodated at Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International when it opens in June for cargo operations.

Dubai International leads the world’s top 50 airports in passenger traffic growth, according to ACI’s latest figures. Dubai International has also climbed two positions in as many months to become the world’s fourth busiest major airport for international passengers. Dubai International is the fifth busiest hub for international cargo.

Dubai International recorded 9.2 percent passenger traffic increase and 5.6 percent cargo growth in 2009 compared to 3.5 percent downturn in international passenger traffic and 10.1 percent contraction in international cargo volume globally as reported by IATA.

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