Dubai airport sees 10.7pc passenger rise to stay world’s busiest

Dubai last year announced it had overtaken Britain’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport. — AFP pic
Dubai last year announced it had overtaken Britain’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport. — AFP pic

DUBAI, Feb 1 — Dubai International remained the world’s busiest airport last year with a 10.7 per cent rise in passenger numbers, its operator said today.

More than 78 million passengers passed through Dubai in 2015, led by an increase in travellers from India, Britain and Saudi Arabia, the state-owned airport said in a statement.

Almost 10.4 million Indians arrived at Dubai last year, a 17 per cent rise from 2014. Britons arriving increased six per cent to 5.7 million travellers, and the number of Saudi arrivals rose 12 per cent to 5.5 million.

Dubai last year announced it had overtaken Britain’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport, and saw 70.4 million international travellers pass through in 2014.

Situated on transcontinental air routes, Dubai is one of several Gulf-based airports to experience prodigious growth in recent years.

Around 100 airlines fly to more than 240 destinations from the international hub, which is also home to carrier Emirates.

Like Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Qatar’s state-owned operator, Emirates has come under fire from US and European carriers who accuse them of receiving subsidies from the oil-rich region’s governments.

US officials opened investigations into the alleged subsidies last year following complaints from three major US carriers.

Dubai’s second airport, Al-Maktoum International, opened in 2013 and will be capable of receiving 120 million passengers a year once fully operational. — AFP

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