DUBAI: Dubai Airports announced traffic statistics for Dubai World Central that showed the airport handled 219,092 tonnes of air freight during its second full calendar year of operations, an increase of 144 per cent over 2011.
In 2012 Dubai World Central’s average monthly air cargo volumes totalled 18,258 tonnes compared to 7,477 tonnes recorded during the airport’s first full year of operations in 2011. Cargo transit traffic comprised 44,052 tonnes or 20 per cent of volumes.
Aircraft movements for the year came in at 16,317, up 99 per cent from 8,198 recorded in 2011. During 2012, more than 30 airlines operated into Dubai World Central, predominantly as cargo charter operations. Of these 15 were scheduled services.
“Less than three years after its opening Dubai World Central is fast emerging as a significant cargo airport in the region,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports. “That emergence is set to continue as airlines take advantage of the airport’s facilities, road feeder service to Dubai International and bonded link to the Jebel Ali port.” The flexibility in operations at Dubai World Central continues to attract new cargo operators, with eight new airlines launching services to the airport during 2012, including ZetAvia, Abakan Aiva, Silk Way Airlines, Khalton Air, Sakavia Services, Iran Aseman, Vision Air and Saudi Arabian.
An increasing amount of Dubai Airports’ total cargo is projected to be handled at Dubai World Central in the years ahead with cargo volumes for both airports projected to top three million tonnes by 2015.
General aviation traffic is also expected to pick up in 2013 with the recent opening of the new Al Majlis facility. The facility -to be operated in partnership with private aviation groups Execujet and Jet Aviation and contained within the passenger terminal building -offers a viable alternative to business travellers by providing greater flexibility in terms of general aviation departures and arrival slots. Its proximity to the fast-growing business area of “new” Dubai is an added attraction. The new Al Majlis has six lounges capable of accommodating 80,000 VIP passengers a year.
Meanwhile, passenger flows through Dubai’s main airport jumped 13.2 per cent last year, helping the airport overtake Hong Kong to become the world’s third busiest for international passenger traffic, airport authorities said on Monday.
Dubai’s passenger traffic surged to 57.68 million people in 2012 from 50.98 million during 2011, Dubai Airports said. In the month of December, passengers rose 13.4 per cent to 5.32 million.
Hong Kong International Airport said earlier this month that its passenger traffic increased 4.7 per cent to 56.5 million people last year. India was Dubai International’s single biggest country destination in terms of passenger numbers last year, with traffic rising 7.4 per cent to 7.34 million. Dubai opened a huge, purpose-built facility for A380 superjumbo jets last month and the airport expects to handle 65.4 million passengers in 2013, said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports.
The airport is closing in on its target to overtake London’s Heathrow as the busiest in the world by 2015.
Heathrow is near its capacity of 68 million passengers a year, while Dubai International is expected to accommodate 90 million people per year by 2018.
Dubai’s growth has been rapid, rising from the 99th largest international airport only 11 years ago.
The world’s largest A380 facility opened at Dubai International’s Terminal 3 in early January, while the airport’s freight capacity is due to be expanded by 25 per cent to 1.5 million tonnes per by 2018.