Wednesday, February 05, 2020

First ever fall: Jet Airways collapse, other factors lead to Dubai handling less flyers in 2019

New Delhi: The collapse of Jet Airways last year, among other factors, has led to Dubai International Airport (DXB) seeing its passenger traffic fall for the first time in years. One of the world’s busiest airports, DXB handled 8.6 crore passengers in 2019 — 3.1% less than 2018. Traffic growth had been slowing in Dubai for some time now.
According to Airports Council International (ACI), DXB had seen its passenger traffic grow by 1% in 2018 over 2017 “after years of double-digit percentage traffic growth”.
India, however, retained its position as the top destination country for DXB in 2019 also with passenger numbers to and from here at 1.2 crore.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “While customer numbers in 2019 were lower than the preceding year, the impact of the 45-day closure of the runway, the bankruptcy of Jet Airways, as well as the grounding of the Boeing’s 737 Max accounted for an estimated 32 lakh passengers over the course of the year, and indicate underlying growth at DXB.”
Jet Airways was India’s largest international airlines in terms of flying people in and out of the country for many years till 2018 and had a major presence in Gulf megahubs of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. To be sure, other Indian airlines added/started flights to Dubai on Jet’s rights last year and that gap in connectivity to Dubai has now been more or less filled.
“India retained its position as the top destination country for DXB by passenger numbers, with traffic for 2019 reaching about 1.2 crore.  The top three cities were London (36 lakh customers), Mumbai (23 lakh customers) and Riyadh with 22 lakh customers,” a statement by Dubai Airports, which manages the operation and development of both of Dubai’s airports – DXB and DWC, said.
05/02/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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