Dubai International welcomes 41 3m passengers during H1 2019 - GulfToday

Dubai International welcomes 41.3 million passengers during H1 2019

UAE-Traveller

Total passenger flights during the first six months of 2019 totalled 178,383.

The Dubai International (DXB) welcomed 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019, maintaining its position as the world’s largest international airport by traffic volume. The closure of one of DXB’s two runways between April 16th and May 30th for a complete rehabilitation programme reduced the airport’s capacity, contributing to a decline in traffic of 5.6 per cent year on year.

A total of 41,277,749 customers travelled through DXB during the first half of 2019. The closure of the southern runway for refurbishment halved the hub’s runway capacity leading to a reduction of 32 per cent in passenger flights over a 45-day period, according to a DXB press statement Sunday.

A total of 1,036,474 tonnes of airfreight was handled at DXB during the first half this year, down 18.3 per cent. A significant portion of the cargo traffic at DXB is bellyhold which was impacted by the southern runway rehabilitation programme.

Total passenger flights during the first six months of 2019 totalled 178,383, down 11.6 per cent from last year, also due to the 45-day closure of the southern runway.

India remained DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the first half reaching 5.7 million customers - propelled mainly by top city destinations Mumbai and Delhi. Saudi Arabia was number two on the list with 3.1 million customers, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 2.8 million customers. Other destination countries of note include Pakistan (1.9 million customers), the US (1.5 million), and China (1.2 million).

The top three cities were London (1.6 million customers), Mumbai (1.1 million) and Jeddah with just over 1 million.

Thanks to DXB’s advanced operations centre which uses real-time information to improve service and efficiency, as well as the smart gates that help speed customers through immigration, wait times were reduced by 25 pc in the first half of 2019.

A total of 35 million bags passed through the airport’s advanced 175km long baggage system during the first half.

Meanwhile, Dubai welcomed through Mina Rashid Cruise Terminal 846,176 cruise visitors via 152 ship calls during the season, compared to 558,781 visitors onboard 110 ships in 2017/2018. An additional 211 ship calls are now confirmed for the upcoming 2019/2020 season. This growth reflects the committed joint efforts to boost the cruise sector by the Dubai Cruise Committee made up of leading industry partners; Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), DP World UAE Region, operator of the Mina Rashid, Emirates Airline, The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs - Dubai, and Dubai Customs.

The 2018/2019 season witnessed 14 maiden calls and welcomed leading international cruise liners such as TUI Cruises, AIDA Cruises, MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises, P&O Cruises and Royal Carribean cruise line to the homeport in Dubai, all expected to return in the upcoming season. The season concluded with the departure of the ‘Karnika’, India’s first premium cruise ship from Jalesh Cruises which has recently homeported in Dubai.

Mohammed Abdul Aziz Al Mannai, CEO-P&O Marinas and Executive Director, Mina Rashid, said, “We are pleased to move in the right direction in promoting Dubai as a popular destination for international cruise tourists. As the Middle East’s premier destination for cruise operators, Mina Rashid offers a value proposition to global luxury cruise liners. It is reassuring to see the steady double-digit increase in tourist traffic at Mina Rashid each year. Central to this stellar performance is our flagship Hamdan Bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, capable of handling 14,000 passengers a day.

Commenting on the success of the 2018/2019 cruise season, Hamad Bin Mejren, Senior Vice President of Dubai Tourism, said, “The success of the 2018/2019 cruise season stands as a true testament to the robust growth of Dubai’s cruise industry and the city’s growing appeal as a year-round ‘must-visit’ destination. We are delighted to welcome leading cruise lines once again to operate regular international itineraries out of the city. We will continue to actively work with our valued network of local, regional and global partners to further highlight Dubai’s ease of accessibility, driven by efficient cruise terminal operations and continual enhancements that have welcomed an ever-increasing number of operators to anchor in the emirate.”

Developing Dubai’s cruise industry to its maximum potential falls in line with the Dubai Silk Road strategy prepared by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation,PCFC, in collaboration with key government entities. It comprises nine initiatives and 33 projects, which include the enhancement of the strategic and operational connection of logistics services between DP World terminals across the world.

WAM