DXB welcomed 41.6 million guests in H1, exceeding 2019 figures. Top destinations include India, Saudi Arabia and the UK.
Dubai International (DXB) celebrates a significant milestone in its recovery, with passenger traffic for the first half of the year surpassing 2019 levels. The world’s busiest international hub welcomed 41.6 million guests in H1, just over 100%, compared to the traffic recorded during the first six months of 2019. DXB registered a robust performance throughout the second quarter, during which passenger traffic surged by 42.7% year over year to reach 20.3 million. May was the busiest month during Q2, with 6.9 million guests. Propelled by a strong Q2, DXB’s H1 traffic totaled 41.6 million guests, up 49.1% compared to 27.9 million recorded in H1 2022.
“It’s been a rewarding first half for Dubai International, and amidst increasing guest numbers, we take great pride in knowing we are continuously delivering with operational excellence and providing an exemplary guest experience. Our dedicated team goes above and beyond to create a personalized and seamless experience for every guest. Recent stories of our team delivering a unique guest experience at DXB include communicating with a guest with a hidden disability using a translator tool, working with our stakeholders to locate a lost passport minutes before the guest’s flight was due to depart, helping a guest recover his lost wallet from his hotel after he cleared immigration, and even reuniting a little boy in the U.K. with his beloved stuffed bunny after he had been left behind at DXB.
As we recover with our H1 traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we continue to remain committed to ensuring every guest who travels through our airport leaves with a smile,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
DXB’s baggage performance continues to be world-leading, and in H1 2023, baggage volume increased by 7% compared to pre-pandemic H1 2019 levels. This year so far, DXB has handled approximately 37.2 million bags without compromising baggage delivery to customers; 92% of all baggage was delivered within 45 minutes to customers.
In H1 2023, DXB successfully managed multiple seasonal peak periods and continued to provide a seamless guest experience through operational excellence, exceeding agreed KPIs in collaboration with the airports’ strategic partners.
DXB received numerous accolades, including a certification from Airports Council International, for its ongoing efforts to prioritize a safe and inclusive airport experience for guests with both physical and hidden disabilities—a significant milestone. And welcomed several new airlines to the DXB family, further expanding connectivity to new destinations and countries.
India continues to lead as DXB’s top destination country in terms of traffic, with 6 million guests in the first half, followed by Saudi Arabia with 3.1 million guests, and the United Kingdom with 2.8 million guests. Other leading destinations include Pakistan (2 million guests), the U.S. (1.8 million guests), Russia (1.3 million guests), and Germany (1.2 million guests).
The list of top city destinations was led by London with 1.7 million guests, with Mumbai (1.2 million guests) and Riyadh (1.2 million guests) following in a close third.
DXB is connected to 257 destinations across 104 countries, through more than 91 international airlines.
Cargo volumes at DXB surged in the second quarter by 16.1% year on year to reach 453,500 metric tons, bringing the total freight volume for the first half of the year to 853,500 metric tons, down from 6.2% compared to last year.
DXB handled a total of 201,800 flights in the first half, up 30.2% year on year and 13% compared to the same period in H1 2019. The average number of guests per flight during the first half reached 214, while the load factor was 77%.
Outlook for H2 2023: Looking to the remainder of the year, Dubai Airports is optimistic about the levels of demand and is expecting record-breaking numbers during the winter season.
“We started the second half with strong demand in July, and with the ongoing seasonal peak coinciding with the reopening of schools in August, we’re preparing for an exceptionally busy rest of the year. We’ve readjusted our forecast for the year from 83.6m guests to 85m, just 1.6% shy of DXB’s annual traffic in 2019,” added Paul.