Dubai International Airport is expected to maintain its position as the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passengers at the end of 2014 and afterwards for at least a decade as its year-on-year growth is far above its closest competitors.

During the first five months of the year, Dubai International maintained the top position and after the completion of the 80-day runway repair, the number of flights at the airport surged by 31 per cent compared to the flights during runway closure period.

Dubai handled 29.6 million passengers during the first five months of the year while London Heathrow reported 28.47 million passengers for the same period, according to the data released by both the airports’ operators. By the end of May 2014, passenger numbers rose by 9.2 per cent at Dubai International while Heathrow recorded only a 2.2 per cent growth during the same period.

Dubai Airports successfully resumed full operations at Dubai International from July 21 following the reopening of the northern runway. At the same time, flights that had temporarily moved to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central, or DWC, while the runway upgrades were underway, have now returned to Dubai International.

Resuming full operations at Dubai International will pave the way for a robust second half of the year now that all runway work is complete, according to a senior aviation official.

“This also means that as the airport and traffic grows, they won’t need to revamp the runways to cater for that extra growth and this will be vital in toppling Heathrow as the worlds number one airport next year and staying there for good,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times. “Combined, all these strategic efforts will ensure that Dubai International will record some big passenger numbers from August through to December 31 this year. While it might not be enough to knock Heathrow off the top spot by the end of 2014, you can be rest assured that the airport is on track and on target to dominate from 2015 onwards and there’s no way that the likes of London Heathrow will ever take that lead off Dubai for the next 15-20 years.”… see more

source: khaleejtimes