Dubai Airport could become 3rd biggest in world this year
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Mar 14, 6:57 am
Dubai International Airport could overtake Hong Kong International Airport to become the third largest aviation hub in the world this year, with its CEO expecting an 11 percent rise in annual passenger traffic.
Handling some 51m travellers in 2011, Dubai’s primary airport is currently the fourth largest aviation hub globally after London’s Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong International recorded a 5.9 percent increase in passengers to 53.9m in 2011, but Dubai believes its rate of growth will trump its Asian rival this year.
“With our growth this year, which will take us to 56.5m [passengers], about 11 percent growth, I think we will be hot on the heels of Hong Kong, we may even over take them,” CEO of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths, told Arabian Business in an interview.
“We may end up being the third largest airport in the world in terms of international passengers.”
The long-term goal is to reach 90m people by 2018, he said, making Dubai International the largest airport in the world in terms of yearly passenger volume.
Though the airport will eventually be replaced with Al Maktoum International Airport, located in Dubai World Central, officials recently announced a US$7.8bn expansion plan for the existing facility in a bid to boost revenues prior to the move.
The plan includes adding a third concourse, while also expanding terminal two on the north side of the airport to accommodate the growth of low-cost carrier flyDubai.