DXB’s H1 traffic surpasses pre-pandemic levels

Dubai International (DXB) has recorded recovery with passenger traffic for the first half of the year surpassing 2019 levels.

Image: DXB

The world’s busiest international hub welcomed 41.6m guests in H1, just over 100%, compared to the traffic recorded during the first six months of 2019.

DXB registered a robust performance throughout the second quarter, during which passenger traffic surged by 42.7% year on year to reach 20.3m. May was the busiest month during Q2 with 6.9m guests. Propelled by a strong Q2, DXB’s H1 traffic totalled 41.6m guests, up 49.1% compared to 27.9m recorded in H1 2022.

“It’s been a rewarding first half for Dubai International and amidst increasing guest numbers, we take great pride in knowing we are continuously delivering with operational excellence and providing an exemplary guest experience. Our dedicated team go above and beyond to create a personalised and seamless experience for every guest.  Recent stories of our team delivering a unique guest experience at DXB  include communicating with a guest with a hidden disability using a translator tool, working with our stakeholders to locate a lost passport minutes before the guest's flight was due to depart, helping a guest recover his lost wallet from his hotel after he cleared immigration and even reuniting a little boy in the U.K with his beloved stuffed bunny after he had been left behind at DXB .  

As we recover with our H1 traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we continue to remain committed to ensuring every guest who travels through our airport leaves with a smile,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

DXB's baggage performance continues to be world-leading, and in H1 2023, baggage volume increased by 7% compared to pre-pandemic H1 2019 levels. This year so far, DXB handled approximately 37.2 million bags without compromising baggage delivery to customers – 92% of all baggage was delivered within 45 minutes to customers.

In H1 2023, DXB successfully managed multiple seasonal peak periods and continued to provide a seamless guest experience through operational excellence, exceeding agreed KPIs in collaboration with the airports’ strategic partners.

DXB received numerous accolades including a certification from Airports Council International for its ongoing efforts to prioritise a safe and inclusive airport experience for guests with both physical and hidden disabilities – a significant milestone. And welcomed several new airlines to the DXB family, further expanding connectivity to new destinations and countries.

India continues to lead as DXB’s top destination country in terms of traffic with 6m guests in the first half, followed by Saudi Arabia with 3.1m guests, and the United Kingdom with 2.8m guests. Other leading destinations include Pakistan (2m guests), the U.S. (1.8m guests), Russia (1.3m guests) and Germany (1.2m guests).

The list of top city destinations was led by London with 1.7m guests, Mumbai (1.2m guests) and Riyadh (1.2m guests) following in a close third.

DXB is connected to 257 destinations across 104 countries, through more than 91 international airlines.

Cargo volumes at DXB surged in the second quarter by 16.1% year on year to reach 453,500 tonnes, bringing the total freight volume for the first half of the year to 853,500 tonnes, down from 6.2% compared to last year.

DXB handled a total of 201,800 flights in the first half, up 30.2% year on year, up 13% compared to the same period in H1 2019. The average number of guests per flight during the first half reached 214 while the load factor was 77%.

Outlook for H2 2023

Looking to the remainder of the year, Dubai Airports is optimistic about the levels of demand and is expecting record-breaking numbers during the winter season.

“We started the second half with strong demand in July, and with the ongoing seasonal peak coinciding with the reopening of schools in August, we’re preparing for an exceptionally busy rest of the year. We’ve readjusted our forecast for the year from 83.6m guests to 85m, just 1.6% shy of DXB’s annual traffic in 2019,” added Griffiths.