DXB ranked third busiest airport in the world
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Dubai International (DXB) ranked as the third busiest airport in the world for total passenger traffic in 2015, the latest report from ACI has revealed.
The airport jumped three slots from sixth place in 2014 to third slot last year, with passenger traffic leaping 10.7% to more than 78 million.
Only Atlanta-Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) and Beijing (PEK) airports outperformed DXB in the league table, taking first and second slot respectively.
Atlanta reported 101.49 million passengers in 2015, up 5.5% year on year, while Beijing saw passenger throughput of 89.94 million last year – a 4.4% increase versus the previous year.
Atlanta has benefitted from its strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America. The airport is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population.
Atlanta also owes its strides in throughput to its major operator, Delta Air Lines. Coupled with efficiency gains in the deployment of its aircraft fleet, the airline has continued to make inroads into the American domestic market.
While Beijing (PEK) was poised to close the gap on ATL by 2015, it no longer benefits from the double-digit growth it enjoyed in previous years, and as such remains in second position. The combination of a Chinese slowdown and capacity constraints has meant lower growth levels at the airport. PEK grew by 4.4% in total passenger traffic. At the same time, Shanghai (PVG), the second-largest airport for throughput in China, grew by 16.3% in 2015. With an added runway and increased slot capacity, PVG was the fastest growing airport among the world’s top 20.
DXB’s year-on-year growth was the second fastest after PVG’s, however, the airport remains the world’s busiest in terms of international passengers ahead of London-Heathrow (LHR). “Dubai has become the fulcrum that connects long-haul international flights from east and west, north and south,” said ACI.
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) moved up to become the fourth-ranked airport in 2015 from seventh position in 2014, with growth last year of 9.8%. After years of congestion, the airport is reaping the benefits of runway expansions and other capacity developments.
The world’s largest air cargo hub continues to be Hong Kong (HKG, +0.4%). Memphis (MEM, +0.8%) is in the second spot followed by PVG (+2.9%). Doha (DOH), a major Middle Eastern airport and one of the fastest growing airports in the world, entered the top 20 given a jump of 46% in air cargo volumes in 2015.
Angela Gittens, director general, ACI World, said: “In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimising their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport. Thus, even in the most mature markets such as the United States and parts of Western Europe, several of the major hubs experienced year-over-year growth rates in passenger traffic that were well above the historical growth levels for these regions. On the other hand, we continue to observe double-digit growth rates at major Middle Eastern and Asian hubs serving long haul routes in emerging markets. With the continued rise in per-capita income and liberalization of air transport across these markets, the propensity to travel by air will rise accordingly. However, airport capacity considerations on the supply side within major city markets will remain paramount to the issue of accommodating the surge in demand for air travel.”
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