Dubai International (DXB) ended the first quarter of the year on a relatively positive note, registering a gradual but steady recovery in both customer numbers and cargo volumes.
By the end of Q1 2021, the travel hub served 63 per cent of the destinations in 89 per cent of the countries on 74 per cent of the airlines compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
DXB's passenger volumes during the period reached 5.75 million boosted by numbers breaching the 2 million-mark in March.
That's a drop of 67.8 per cent compared to Q1 of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic-related travel suspension hadn't taken effect.
The suspension of operations by airlines and airports worldwide started towards the end of March 2020.
Cargo, which has shown more resilience compared to the passenger segment throughout the pandemic, continued its strong recovery despite the reduction in belly-hold capacity.
DXB handled a total of 550,811 tonnes of airfreight during the first three months of 2021, a year-on-year increase of 3.2 per cent.
Total flight movements during the first quarter totalled 50,176, down 38.3 per cent from last year, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on airline operations.
India, which is traditionally a strong market for the UAE, retained its position as DXB's top destination country with traffic for Q1 reaching 1,384,448 – propelled by top city destinations New Delhi and Mumbai.
Pakistan was placed second with 454,294 customers, followed by Bangladesh (221,027 customers) and Russia (196,890 customers).
Other destination countries of note included Egypt and Turkey, while the top three cities were New Delhi (262,035 customers), Dhaka (178,593) closely followed by Addis Ababa (169,715 customers).
"Whilst passenger numbers for the first quarter remained significantly below the monthly volumes we handled before March 2020, in the context of the current global situation they are very encouraging and reflect the consolidation phase in our business recovery," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
Dubai Airports is working closely with its aviation and commercial partners, government authorities and airport employees in its efforts to achieve a full recovery while enhancing customer confidence by providing a safe airport environment.
Today we announced the first quarter 2021 traffic figures for Dubai International (@DXB), the airport welcomed 5.75m customers, a contraction of 67.8% compared to Q1 of 2020. pic.twitter.com/S1sTlg1pC9— Dubai Airports (@DubaiAirports) April 28, 2021