DXB retains its name as world’s busiest international airport for 8th year

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Dubai International Airport (DXB) has been named as the world’s busiest airport by international passenger numbers for the eighth consecutive year after achieving 29.1 million in annual traffic in 2021.

DXB’s annual traffic exceeded forecasts for the year by more than half a million passengers, on the back of a strong last quarter. According to DXB, 2021 was an eventful year that, despite the uncertainties of the global pandemic, contained many milestones that demonstrate several bold steps taken by Dubai and its aviation sector to lead the recovery of global air travel.

The key milestones include the successful hosting of the Dubai Airshow 2021, the world’s first major airshow since the start of the pandemic, the return of DXB to 100 percent operational capacity with the reopening of Terminal 1-Concourse D and Concourse A, and the opening of the world’s largest in-house airport laboratory for fast-track processing COVID-19 PCR test samples for Dubai’s visitors.

Paul Griffiths
Paul Griffiths
CEO – Dubai Airports

“The incredible performance by all of our staff and stakeholders was achieved in the face of abruptly changing travel regulations and concerns about new waves of infection. Despite these serious challenges to our ongoing success, we managed to exceed our forecasts and continue to retain our crown as the world’s busiest international airport. With the eagerly anticipated reopening of key markets such as Australasia and the further easing of travel regulations around the world, the outlook for 2022 is very promising and we are in an excellent position to continue to  lead the world’s air travel sector on the road to recovery.”

Key facts and figures

DXB welcomed 29,110,609 passengers for the full year of 2021, a year-on-year growth of 12.7 percent. The figures were lifted by a strong performance in the final three months of the year during which DXB recorded 11,794,046 passengers, 77 percent more than in the previous quarter. It was the busiest quarter since Q1 2020, and the first time since the start of the pandemic that DXB’s quarterly traffic surpassed the 10 million mark. December was the busiest month of the year with 4.5 million passengers.

Top destinations

India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger volume, followed by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom. Other destination countries of note include the US, Egypt and Turkey. DXB’s top destination cities during 2021 were Istanbul, Cairo, London and New Delhi.

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