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Banner year sets up DXB to handle 73 million passengers in 2023


Dubai Airports today labelled 2022 a banner year for Dubai International Airport (DXB), revealing that it handled 66 million passengers during 12 months of robust growth.

It notes that growth outpaced the annual forecast yet again in the final months of the year following an exceptionally strong fourth quarter, and believes that it is now on track to handle around 73 million passengers in 2023.

Key facts and figures
DXB welcomed a total of 66,069,981 passengers during 2022, a year-on year-growth of 127%. Traffic volumes were propelled by strong growth in the final quarter of the year during which the airport recorded 19,729,155 passengers, up 67% compared to the fourth quarter of 2021.

It was the busiest quarter since 2019. December was the busiest month of the year with 7.1 million passengers, the first time since January 2020 that DXB’s monthly traffic hit the 7 million mark.

Top destinations
India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger volume, with a total traffic of 9.8 million passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia with 4.9 million passengers, and the United Kingdom with 4.6 million passengers.

Other destination countries of note include Pakistan (3.7 million passengers) the US (3 million), and Russia (1.9 million), which along with Turkey (1.6 million) has recorded more than 100% recovery in passenger volumes compared to 2019 levels.

DXB’s top destination cities during 2022 were London with 3 million passengers, Riyadh (2 million), Mumbai (1.9 million) and Jeddah and New Delhi both with 1.7 million passengers.

DXB is currently connected to 229 destinations across 99 countries through more than 88 international carriers.

Total flight movements at DXB totalled 96,701 during the fourth quarter bringing the annual flight movements to 343,339, a year-on-year growth of 47%. The average number of passengers per flight reached 204, up 33% year-on-year.

Cargo continued to register a contraction in volumes with 420,125 tonnes recorded in the fourth quarter, down 31.7% compared to 614,834 tonnes in Q4 of 2021.

DXB handled 1,727,815 tonnes of cargo during 2022, a drop of 25.5% resulting from the moving of all major freight operators back to Dubai World Central (DWC) and the return of pax-freighter aircraft back to passenger operations during the year.

Baggage and Waiting Times
DXB’s baggage handling system processed a total of 62.2 million bags in 2022 with a success rate of 99.8% – a rate of 2.2 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers, an impressive performance for the world’s busiest international hub. In terms of baggage delivery on arrival, 92% of all baggage was delivered within 45 minutes* to our customers.

The baggage volume in 2022 represents 86.2% of the 2019 baggage volume at DXB.

The average waiting time at passport control queues was less than 13 minutes for 95.48% of the arriving passengers and 96.24% of passengers queued for less than 5 minutes at departure passport control. The average queue times at security check on departures was less than 3 minutes for 96.38% of total passengers.

Welcoming DXB’s impressive performance as the perfect high note on which to start the new year, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said: “We knew it was the year when growth would return to the air travel sector in a big way, but the surge was much stronger than anticipated and we had to do our best to turn that challenge into an opportunity.

“Thanks to the planning, preparation, and all the collaboration and hard work of our people across the airport community, we were ready to meet the challenge of rapid recovery in customer numbers while delivering significant improvement in our service quality across the board.”

Commenting on the outlook for 2023, Griffiths said: “Given its dynamism and global impact, there is never a dull year for the aviation sector and 2023 will be no exception.

“With DXB forecast to welcome 78 million passengers this year, and Dubai hosting major international events including the Dubai Airshow and COP28, it will be another year of new challenges and opportunities and we are ready for them.

“Our top priority in 2023 will be our customers, our people, and sustainability – three key areas that are crucial to our aspirations and goals as the world’s busiest global hub, a preferred employer, and as a key player and trend-setter in the world’s aviation industry.”

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