Traffic Quadruples As Dubai's 'Second' Airport Comes Of Age

Aug. 08--Between April and June, DWC recorded 475,992 passengers, a sharp rise from 102,137 passengers that used the facility in the first quarter this year.

Passenger traffic at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central surged 366 per cent during second quarter of 2014 mainly due to temporary shift of an estimated 600 flights per week from Dubai International, which underwent through a major runway upgrade project that concluded on July 20.

Between April and June, DWC recorded 475,992 passengers, a sharp rise from 102,137 passengers that used the facility in the first quarter this year. The spike resulted from the temporary operation of select flights of a number of airlines including flydubai, Malaysian Airlines, Royal Brunei, PAL Express, Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, Jazeera Airways, and East Horizon.

"We were particularly pleased with the airport's ability to smoothly absorb the rush in traffic and impress passengers with its speed, convenience and efficiency," Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, said in a statement

Propelled by the increased activity, aircraft movements also climbed sharply in the second quarter of 2014 to 13,697 movements, up 123 per cent from the 6,133 movements in the corresponding period of 2013. The year-to-date flight movements reached 23,662, compared to 10,237 during the first half of 2013, an increase of 131.1 per cent.

"Dubai World Central has obviously benefitted from the temporary traffic shift and surge from airlines operating away from Dubai International during the runway work. Critically, this additional capacity now provides airlines with a longer term basis to consider permanently shifting some or all of their flights should a need arise," Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told

Cargo traffic soars

Cargo traffic at Al Maktoum International also registered a major surge in the second quarter of 2014 due to a major runway upgrade project at Dubai International and the permanent relocation of all cargo freighter operations to the new airport.

Freight volumes surged by triple-digits in April-June quarter, recording 199,751 tonnes, up 308 per cent from the 48,955 tonnes recorded during the corresponding period in 2013. The year-to-date freight volumes reached 276,567 tonnes, up 168.7 per cent from 102,929 tonnes recorded during the first half of 2013.

The spike in cargo volumes this quarter resulted from the move of all Emirates SkyCargo freighter operations to DWC in May 2014. This follows a similar move by several scheduled freighter services including Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and Cargolux that moved their operations to DWC late last year.

"While the growth in cargo will continue at DWC, we expect passenger traffic to return to first quarter levels in the next quarter as all temporary operations have already returned to Dubai International," Griffiths said.

Ahmad said the sharp rise in freight volumes on the back of Emirates SkyCargo moving all its freight operations to DWC is a robust sign that cargo demand is starting to rise and Emirates has managed to successfully split its operations between the two airports despite many of its passenger flights also contributing to this growth.

"While DWC will naturally see a fall in traffic in the coming months, year-on-year, this traffic performance will continue to rise as more passengers use the airport and use it as an alternative to Dubai International," he said.

Copyright 2014 - Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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