Aviation Dubai International raises air passenger target to 85m By Gavin Gibbon August 22, 2023 Dubai Airports Dubai International's CEO expects it to be 'exceptionally busy' for the rest of the year 41.6m travellers in H1 Up 49% year on year India is top visitor country Dubai International Airport has raised its annual target for passenger traffic to 85 million after surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first six months of the year. The airport reported 41.6 million travellers in the first half of 2023, up 49 percent on the same period last year and marginally ahead of the traffic recorded during the first six months of 2019. Abu Dhabi airport reports 67% spike in passenger traffic Etihad has designs on the US market UAE taps multi-billion dollar inclusive tourism market Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said the second half of the year had started with “strong demand” for summer breaks ahead of the new school year. “We’re preparing for an exceptionally busy rest of the year,” he said. The 85 million target is 1.6 percent short of the airport’s annual traffic in 2019. India was DXB’s top destination country in terms of traffic with 6 million passengers in the first half of the year. It was followed by Saudi Arabia with 3.1 million and the UK with 2.8 million. Other popular destinations include Pakistan (2 million), the US (1.8 million), Russia (1.3 million) and Germany (1.2 million). London led the list of destination cities with 1.7 million travellers, followed by Mumbai and Riyadh, which both had 1.2 million. Dubai International recorded a total of 201,800 flights in H1, an increase of 30.2 percent year on year and up 13 percent compared to the same period in 2019. The airport handled about 37.2 million bags over the six months, an increase of 7 percent on H1 2019 levels. The average number of passengers per flight in H1 was 214 while the load factor was 77 percent. In the second quarter, passenger traffic at Dubai International rose by 42.7 percent year on year to reach 20.3 million. May was the busiest month with 6.9 million travellers. Cargo volumes rose 16 percent year on year in the second quarter to reach 453,500 tonnes. This brought the total freight volume for the first half of the year to 853,500 tonnes, down 6 percent compared to last year. Dubai International is connected to 257 destinations in 104 countries, through more than 91 airlines.