Dubai Airports traffic exceeds 66 mln passengers in 2022; 78 mln forecast for 2023

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Dubai International (DXB) has registered a year of strong recovery and consistently robust growth in its customer base that propelled the annual passenger numbers to 66 million in 2022, according to figures released on Tuesday.

With an exceptionally strong fourth quarter, the airport’s growth outpaced the annual forecast yet again in the final months of the year following an exceptionally strong fourth quarter.

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Welcoming DXB’s stellar performance as the perfect high note on which to start the new year, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “We knew it was the year when growth would return to the air travel sector in a big way, but the surge was much stronger than anticipated and we had to do our best to turn that challenge into an opportunity. Thanks to the planning, preparation, and all the collaboration and hard work of our people across the airport community, we were ready to meet the challenge of rapid recovery in customer numbers while delivering significant improvement in our service quality across the board.”

Commenting on the outlook for 2023, Griffiths said, “Given its dynamism and global impact, there is never a dull year for the aviation sector and 2023 will be no exception. With DXB forecast to welcome 78 million passengers this year, and Dubai hosting major international events including the Dubai Airshow and COP28, it will be another year of new challenges and opportunities and we are ready for them.

“Our top priority in 2023 will be our customers, our people, and sustainability – three key areas that are crucial to our aspirations and goals as the world’s busiest global hub, a preferred employer, and as a key player and trend-setter in the world’s aviation industry.”

Key facts, figures

Dubai Airport welcomed a total of 66,069,981 passengers during 2022, a year-on year-growth of 127 percent.

Traffic volumes were propelled by strong growth in the final quarter of the year during which the airport recorded 19,729,155 passengers, up 67 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. It was the busiest quarter since 2019.
December was the busiest month of the year with 7.1 million passengers, the first time since January 2020 that DXB’s monthly traffic hit the 7 million mark.

Top destinations

India retained its position as the top destination country for Dubai Airport by passenger volume, with a total traffic of 9.8 million passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.9 million passengers, and the United Kingdom with 4.6 million passengers.

Other destination countries of note include Pakistan (3.7 million passengers) the US (3 million), and Russia (1.9 million), which along with Turkey (1.6 million) has recorded more than 100 percent recovery in passenger volumes compared to 2019 levels.

Dubai Airport’s top destination cities during 2022 were London with 3 million passengers, Riyadh (2 million), Mumbai (1.9 million) and Jeddah and New Delhi both with 1.7 million passengers.

DXB is currently connected to 229 destinations across 99 countries through more than 88 international carriers.

Flights

Total flight movements at DXB totalled 96,701 during the fourth quarter bringing the annual flight movements to 343,339, a year-on-year growth of 47 percent. The average number of passengers per flight reached 204, up 33 percent year-on-year.

Cargo

Cargo continued to register a contraction in volumes with 420,125 tonnes recorded in the fourth quarter, down 31.7 percent compared to 614,834 tonnes in Q4 of 2021. DXB handled 1,727,815 tonnes of cargo during 2022, a drop of 25.5 percent resulting from the moving of all major freight operators back to Dubai World Central (DWC) and the return of pax-freighter aircraft back to passenger operations during the year.

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