Dubai airport sees passenger travel surge, hikes annual forecast

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DUBAI, Aug 17 (Reuters) – The operator of Dubai International said on Wednesday over 14 million passengers had travelled through the airport in the second quarter, and raised its forecast for the year to 62.4 million passengers.

That was the ninth consecutive quarter that saw greater passenger figures than the prior quarter as international travel demand ramps up amid an easing of pandemic restrictions worldwide.

Dubai’s airport screened 14.2 million passengers in the April to June period, nearly three times the 4.9 million in the same quarter a year earlier, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

The airport, the busiest for international travellers globally, handled 27.9 million in the first half, more than double the number of a year ago and just short of the 29.1 million recorded in all of 2021.

The operator said it now projected an average of 5.6 million passengers through the airport each month for the rest of the year, upwardly revising its annual forecast by 7%.

Dubai International has recovered 67.5% of pre-pandemic passenger traffic comparing the first six months of this year to the same period in 2019, Dubai Airports said.

The airport recorded an 18.9% drop in first-half cargo volumes to 910,075 tonnes, which Dubai Airports in part attributed to a 45-day period capacity reduction amid scheduled runway maintenance work.

Major cargo operators also moved flights back to another airport in Dubai in March. Cargo services had been consolidated at Dubai International at the height of the pandemic.

(Writing by Alexander CornwellEditing by Bernadette Baum)

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