Momentum builds as Dubai links grow
Air freight traffic at Dubai International airport rebounded slightly in December to 189,593 tonnes, reflecting a modest increase of 0.8 percent compared to the 188,103 tonnes handled during the same period last year.
"In a year that was characterised by economic uncertainty, political instability and high oil prices," the result "speaks volumes of the momentum building at one of the world’s fastest-growing international hubs," commented Paul Griffiths, CEO of operating company Dubai Airports.
Twenty-eight new destinations were added in 2011, while 17 were discontinued, boosting the number of passenger destinations served by Dubai International to 215 compared to 204 one year ago. Aircraft movements for the year totalled 326,317, up by 6.2 percent on 2010 levels.
In other news from the gateway, Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates Airline, will bolster its African operations with the launch of five times a week A330-200 services to Lusaka and Harare on 1 February, providing a total weekly bellyhold cargo capacity of up to 160 tonnes.
"While many regions are experiencing challenging economic conditions, Africa ... is one of the few areas to record growth and the long-term outlook is very positive," said Ram Menen, divisional senior vice president cargo, Emirates Airline.
The two new gateways will mean that Emirates SkyCargo can connect businesses in 22 countries across Africa to its global network of more than 100 destinations, while also providing increased opportunities for key trading partners such as China and Japan, Menen added.