Dubai Intl Steals Heathrow’s Crown

Dubai Intl Steals Heathrow’s Crown

Dubai International Airport has snatched the crown of world’s busiest airport from London Heathrow as footfall increased by 6.1% from 2013 with numbers going from 66,431,533 to 70,475,636.bigstock-Qantas-passenger-airplane-taki-61318331

The Emirate has started a big push in hospitality and tourism as of late and the rise in numbers of passengers coming through Dubai International reflects this as passenger traffic growth in December alone was 7.5% higher than the year before jumping from 6,047,126 passengers passing through the facility to 6,498,573. H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Emirates Group, and Chairman of Dubai Airports said of this news:

“This historic milestone is the culmination of over five decades of double-digit average growth that were inspired by the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It is a vision that has been carried forward strongly by our leader, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The shared goal is to make Dubai a global centre of aviation and we are nearing that goal thanks to an open skies policy, a friendly business environment, Dubai’s growing attractiveness as a centre for trade, commerce and tourism, growing network connectivity due to the rapid expansion of Emirates and flydubai and timely investment in aviation infrastructure.”

The top market growth came from passengers from Western Europe, closely folklowed by the Indian Sub-continent, Asia and North America. Freight volumes through the airport fell but this is largely due to a shift of Freighter Operations from Dubai International to Al Maktoum International Airport. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said:

“Much like 2014, 2015 promises to be another eventful year featuring more record passenger numbers and facility upgrades including the opening of Concourse D which will boost Dubai International’s capacity to 90 million. Today we are also releasing our projections for 2015 traffic at Dubai International which forecast 79 million passengers. We will have more flights connecting more people to more destinations. And we will be fully focused on rolling out technology, new F&B concepts and service initiatives that further enhance the passenger experience.”

With London Heathrow operating at about 98% capacity, expansion has long be talked about but opposition from environmentalists and nearby residents have slowed any progression on the matter down. A Heathrow spokeswoman said:

“Britain has benefited from being home to the world’s largest port or airport for the last 350 years. But lack of capacity at Heathrow means we have inevitably lost our crown to Dubai.”

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