Passenger traffic at Dubai World Central (DWC) surged to 1.2 million during the first half of 2019, compared to 517,813 during the same period in 2018. The increase follows the transfer of some flights by a number of airlines during the closure of Dubai International’s (DXB) southern runway for rehabilitation from April 16th to May 30th.
More than 900,000 of the total traffic in the first half was recorded just during the 45-day period, which is equal to the airport’s entire annual passenger traffic in 2018.
DWC welcomed a total of 1,248,506 customers during the first half of 2019 (+141%) compared to the same period last year.
Accounting for more than a quarter of the traffic, the South Asia region was the single largest contributor to traffic at DWC during H1 with 379,851 customers, closely followed by CIS with 312,083 passengers and the GCC with 281,184 customers. Other significant contributors include Eastern Europe and Western Europe with more than 100,000 customers each.
Russia was the top destination country during the first six months with customer numbers exceeding 293,100, followed by Saudi Arabia (201,138 customers), India (193,900) and Germany (89,416 passengers). Some of DWC’s top destination cities during the first half were Moscow (165,367 customers), Jeddah (55,873 customers), and Karachi (39,762 customers).
A total of 22,127 flights took off or landed at DWC during H1 (+37.7% YoY).
DWC moved a total of 450,000 tonnes of freight in H1, a year on year decline of 5.3% which is due to softening of overall air cargo market.
“The 45-day period was a major challenge for DWC as the airport had to accommodate a massive spike in both passenger and flight traffic – going overnight from 10 flights a day to 80 flights on peak days. Thanks to the planning and collaboration between Dubai Airports and our service partners including dnata, the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs, Dubai Police, flydubai and other airlines, we were able to turn the challenge into an opportunity and successfully showcase DWC as a fantastic airport that’s quick, efficient and convenient,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Preparations for the expanded operations at DWC during the 45 days was logistically the same as opening an airport the size of Glasgow overnight. Some 600 pieces of heavy equipment had to be moved to DWC to ready the facility to handle the additional traffic and ensure a seamless and smooth operation from day one.
During DXB’s runway rehabilitation programme DWC showcased its newly expanded facilities, which can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually. The expanded airport has 90 check-in counters – 10 additional desks for business class customers, 24 departure gates, a 6,000-bags per hour baggage handling system, 40 immigration counters and five smart gates at arrivals, and a shaded car park of 2,500 capacity, which is currently free to use.
DWC was served by 11 passenger airlines operating an average of 525 weekly flights to 31 international destinations during the peak 45 days between April and May. DWC is also home to 18 cargo operators that fly to as many as 45 cities around the world.