Air cargo volume at Dubai International (DXB) rose 3.8 percent to 1.28 million tonnes during the first half of 2016, compared to 1.23 million tonnes during the same period in 2015. Traffic numbers over the first half of this year were also up, this time to a record 40.5 million passengers, raising the stakes of Dubai’s transition to passenger and cargo services at the newer Al Maktoum airport (DWC) to the south.
With DWC handling all freighter traffic in the Dubai region – DXB banned freighter landings in 2014 – it stands that cargo numbers for DWC will rise as well when its operator, Dubai Airports, releases its numbers. For reference, DWC handled 888,714 tonnes of cargo in 2015, up 7.7 percent from 824,933 tonnes during 2014.
The total handle during June 2016 was up 3.9 percent to 226,175 tonnes compared to 217,896 tonnes 12 months earlier. However, due to a predictable post-Ramadan slump in passenger traffic, numbers in June dipped 1 percent to 5.86 million, compared to 5.91 million during June 2015.
Saj Ahmad, an aerospace and aviation analyst, explained to local media that “cargo has bucked the trend in Dubai – Emirates has been a major driving force in battling seafreight shipments, thanks in large part to the success of its SkyCargo operations and the readily available capacity uplift via its massive fleet of 777-300ERs that has allowed it to compete more aggressively on price. Having said that, with global air cargo traffic still far off from sustaining a meaningful recovery, Dubai’s favored position and proximity to Jebel Ali’s shipping network has allowed better overlap and connections for trans-shipments versus other international airports.”
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, was sanguine about the months ahead. “We’ve had a record first half and the second half is underway with what could be a banner month, thanks to the start of the holiday season in July and the week-long break for the Islamic festival of Eid Al Fitr.”
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