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Dubai International Airport (DXB) handled 86.4 million passengers in 2019 to retain its status as the world’s busiest international airport.

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The total secured its sixth successive year as the world’s busiest international gateway, ahead of long-time record holder London Heathrow, which handled 76 million passengers on international flights in 2019 as it welcomed a record 80.9 million passengers.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, which is yet to officially announce its annual figures, remains the world’s busiest airport handling over 107 million passengers per annum, followed by Beijing Capital, which welcomed 100 million passengers in 2018.

DXB operator, Dubai Airports, is also quick to point out that 2019 was an “exceptional” year in terms of customer service with shorter wait times, record-breaking baggage performance and new retail and food and beverage offerings – summarised in this annual video report by CEO Paul Griffiths.

DXB kerb

There is, however, no disguising the fact that DXB’s 2019 total of 86.3 million is actually 3% down on 2018, the airport attrubuting the downturn to “a series of challenges throughout the year”.

During the fourth quarter of 2019, DXB welcomed 21.9 million customers (+1.3%), taking the average monthly passenger numbers at the hub to 7.2 million for the year.

DXB also breached the eight-million passengers per month customer mark twice during the year (July and August).

Expressing satisfaction with DXB’s performance in 2019, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said: “While customer numbers in 2019 were lower than the preceding year, the impact of the 45-day closure of the runway, the bankruptcy of Jet Airways, as well as the grounding of the Boeing’s 737 Max accounted for an estimated 3.2 million passengers over the course of the year, and indicate underlying growth at DXB.”


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