Dubai Keeps Top International Airport Title

Over 89 million travelers passed through Dubai International last year. That makes it the top international airport in the world. It is also the fifth year in which traffic topped 80 million passengers.

The figure puts the airport ahead of other major hubs, including Tokyo, London Heathrow and Hong Kong. The airport is relatively new compared to most other international hubs, as it was built in 1960.

Most of the figures posted by the airport were not up from 2017. The airport’s expansion may well have peaked.

In terms of what the airport authority calls “customers,” the total hit 89,149,387 for the full year of 2018, which was up a negligible 1% from 2017.

India kept its spot as Dubai International’s leading destination country by passenger count, with traffic for the year hitting 12,279,485. The top destinations in India were Mumbai, Delhi and Cochin. Saudi Arabia was second on the list with 6,471,142 passengers. In third place, the United Kingdom posted 6,284,771 customers. By destination, the top three U.K. cities were London at 3,817,889 customers, Mumbai at 2,540,750 and Kuwait at 2,194,576.

Two other numbers were essentially flat. The number of flights for 2018 was 408,251 (−0.3%), while the “average number of customers per flight” grew slightly to 226 (1.3%) annually.

Perhaps the best news for customers was that wait times plunged by 28% in 2018.

Finally, 2,641,383 tonnes of air freight were handled during 2018, down 0.5%.

One reason the airport carries so much traffic is that it is the hub of one of the largest and most rapidly expanding carriers in the world, Emirates. The airline represents over 40% of the traffic through the airport.

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