Passenger traffic at DWC surges 161 per cent in Q3
Dubai World Central (DWC) which is listed among the world's top 20 international freight hubs is now gaining ground in the region as a popular airport for passengers with traffic surging 161 per cent in the third quarter, according to a report issued by operator Dubai Airports today.
DWC welcomed 191,950 passengers during Q3, a sharp increase of 161 per cent compared to 73,466 passengers recorded during the corresponding period in 2015. The year to date traffic totalled 602,228 passengers, up 112 per cent compared to 283,455 recorded during the first nine months in 2015. Passenger traffic at DWC is mainly driven by flydubai, one of Dubai’s two flagship carriers which in addition to its operations at Dubai International’s Terminal 2, operates 35 weekly flights to five destinations from DWC. Qatar Airways and Wizz Air are the two other major carriers carrying out scheduled passenger operations from DWC.
A total of 3 passenger carriers operate an average of 140 flights weekly to 10 international destinations from DWC, which is also home to 32 scheduled cargo operators that connect the airport to as many as 107 destinations around the world.
During the third quarter DWC handled 215,556 tonnes of freight compared to 219,131 tonnes handled during the corresponding period in 2015, down 1.6 per cent. The year to date cargo as at the end of September reached 645,698 tonnes, a contraction of 2.5 per cent compared to 662,143 tonnes recorded during the first nine months of 2015.
Aircraft movements in the third quarter totalled 8,679 compared to 9,137 movements during the same period last year, a decrease of 5 per cent. Year to date aircraft movements in September reached 28,877 down 3.8 per cent from 30,003 movements recorded in the first nine months of 2015.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said, “We are very happy with the way passenger traffic has been growing at DWC. But this is only the beginning. By the end of next year the airport will see tremendous growth as it becomes the new home for flydubai. The project to expand the annual capacity of the passenger terminal at DWC from 5 million to 26 million passengers in underway and on track to be completed by the third quarter of 2017.”
“Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: “Flydubai’s move to operate out of DWC has led to the new airport putting on an impressive performance display with almost 200,000 passengers handled in the quarter.
“It is evident that passengers have taken to DWC, despite its distance away from the centre of Dubai, and with Flydubai planning to move all flights out of Dubai International to DWC starting from late 2017, the airline will be in a prime position to cherry pick favourable slot timings that benefit their passengers as well as reduce travel times away from the hubbub and congestion seen at Dubai International today.”
Ahmad added: “The rapid expansion of Flydubai makes it the perfect companion for DWC as it looks to build on and show off its long -erm masterplan with a view to catering for up to 250m passengers.
“As the airline closes in on ending its first decade of operations, Flydubai will start its second decade with an incoming fuel efficient fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s and an airport that has been design not just to lure passengers away from Dubai, but also from neighbouring Abu Dhabi as well. With Dubai South investing heavily in infrastructure, the speeds of access to DWC is now a barrier that has been overcome and its stands to good reason that Flydubai will benefit immensely as it co-locates all its operations under one new customer built hub that assures their long term organic growth.
“Whether Dubai International remains the city’s second airport or is eventually closed once heavyweight Emirates makes the shift over to DWC remains unclear. But what is clear is that DWC has shown that it is more than ready to absorb airline growth and investment will continue long after the airport is complete by the end of the next decade.”