Passenger traffic at Dubai International (DXB) surged to its highest level since the start of the pandemic, as the recovery of air travel continued to gain momentum. 

The world’s busiest airport saw 13.6 million flyers passing through its gates between January and March this year, making the first quarter the busiest since 2020. 

First-quarter traffic was up 15.7 percent from the previous quarter’s 11.8 million passengers and 138 percent from the previous year’s 5.7 million. 

Traffic in the first quarter was bolstered by the huge turnout of travellers in March alone, which recorded 5.5 million passengers.  

According to Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, the recovery in travel demand was initially led by point-to-point traffic and the opening of international travel across several markets worldwide. 

“The outlook for the year remains strong with annual traffic now projected to reach 58.3 million, exceeding forecasts by a significant margin,” Griffiths said. 

India remained Dubai International’s top destination, with passenger traffic reaching 1.6 million, followed by Saudi Arabia (1.1 million), Pakistan (997,000) and the United Kingdom (934,000). 

As for top cities, London landed the first position, with 617,000 passengers, followed by Riyadh (517,000), Jeddah (337,000) and Istanbul (324,000). 

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz)