As air travel continues to gain momentum, Dubai International (DXB) has raised its forecast for the year to 62.4 million passengers. Around 14.2 million passengers had travelled through the airport in Q2-2022.

The world’s busiest airport saw 27.9 million flyers passing through its gates in the first six months of the year, just 1.2 million shy of the airport’s total annual traffic last year.

That was the ninth consecutive quarter of growth, the airport operator said in a statement. 

According to Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, DXB’s recovery from the impact of the global pandemic has been spectacular, and that position has been strengthened during 2022, particularly during the second quarter.

"We knew at the start of the pandemic that the dramatic downturn would be followed by an equally dramatic upturn, so we were well prepared for it and using all of the business data at our disposal were able to predict the start of the recovery," Griffiths said.

India remained DXB’s top destination country by passenger numbers with traffic for the first half reaching 4 million passengers. Top city  destinations were Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad. Saudi Arabia was second on the list with 2 million passengers, followed closely by the UK with 1.9 million passengers. Other country destinations include Pakistan (1.7 million passengers), and the US (1.4 million passengers).

The airport said based on the strong H1, it now projected an average monthly traffic of 5.6 million passengers for the rest of the year. It has revised upwards its annual forecast for the year to 62.4 million passengers from 58.3 million earlier.

DXB recorded nearly 19% drop in first-half cargo volumes to 910,075 tonnes, which was due in part to a 45-day period capacity reduction amid  runway refurbishment, it said.

(Reporting by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)