Dubai International (DXB) ended the first quarter of the year on a relatively positive note, registering a gradual but steady recovery in both customer numbers and cargo volumes. By the end of Q1 2021, DXB served 63% of the destinations in 89% of the countries on 74% of the airlines compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key facts and figures
Boosted by passenger numbers breaching the 2 million-mark in March, DXB’s passenger volumes for the first quarter this year reached 5.75 million. This translates to a contraction of 67.8% compared to Q1 of 2020, which was largely unaffected by the pandemic related suspension of operations by airlines and airports worldwide towards the end of March.
Cargo, which has shown more resilience compared to the passenger segment throughout the pandemic, continued its strong recovery despite the reduction in belly-hold capacity. DXB handled a total of 550,811 tonnes of airfreight during the first three months of 2021, a year on year increase of 3.2%.
Total flight movements during the first quarter totalled 50,176, down 38.3% from last year reflecting the impact of the pandemic on airline operations.
India, which is traditionally a strong market for the UAE, retained its position as DXB’s top destination country with traffic for Q1 reaching 1,384,448 – propelled by top city destinations New Delhi and Mumbai. Pakistan was placed second with 454,294 customers, followed by Bangladesh (221,027 customers) and Russia (196,890 customers). Other destination countries of note include Egypt and Turkey. The top three cities were New Delhi (262,035 customers), Dhaka (178,593) closely followed by Addis Ababa (169,715 customers).
Commenting on DXB’s Q1 performance, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “Whilst passenger numbers for the first quarter remained significantly below the monthly volumes we handled before March 2020, in the context of the current global situation they are very encouraging and reflect the consolidation phase in our business recovery. Despite the ongoing challenges to air travel as the world continues to battle against the impact of the global pandemic, as an important hub, DXB will continue to play its role of enabling mobility and connectivity and contribute to the much needed social and economic recovery globally.”
Dubai Airports is working closely with its aviation and commercial partners, government authorities and airport employees in its efforts to achieve a full recovery while enhancing customer confidence by providing a safe airport environment.