Traffic at Dubai’s second airport rockets 80% after DXB runway closure

DWC absorbs thousands of passengers who were unable to land at Dubai International while its southern runway underwent refurbishment
DWC, Dubai World Central
Alisdair Miller

The 45-day closure of Dubai International’s (DXB) southern runway last April contributed to a massive surge in customer numbers at the emirate’s second airport, Dubai Airports has revealed.

Dubai World Central’s (DWC) annual traffic exceeded 1.6 million during 2019, which was an 81.5% increase on the previous year.

The spike in customer numbers was primarily the result of the relocation of operations by a number of international carriers during the temporary closure of DXB’s southern runway for refurbishment in April and May 2019, Dubai Airports said.

Year-on-year traffic also increased in the final quarter of the year compared with 2018 as DWC processed nearly 364,000 customers in Q4 – a near 40% rise – mainly due to seasonal operations by chartered airlines. 

The main regions contributing to traffic growth at DWC last year were CIS, followed by South Asia and the GCC. 

Russia was the top country destination with 549,806 customers followed by Saudi Arabia and India.

The top cities served by the DWC network included Moscow, Budapest and Jeddah.

There were 8,871 flights during Q4 bringing the annual total to 36,949 movements. With a total of 234,741 tonnes of freight in recorded in Q4, DWC’s annual cargo volume reached 911,571 tonnes, which was a 7% drop.

DWC is currently served by six passenger airlines which operate an average of 30 weekly flights to 45 international destinations.

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