Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport reached an all-time high of 66.43 million in 2013, up 15.2 per cent from 57.68 million in 2012 on the back of an ongoing network expansion that saw monthly passenger turn over of more than five million for each of the 12 months.

“It was truly a historic year highlighted by the successful opening of Concourse A, the world’s largest and only facility purpose built for the Airbus A380; the launch of passenger services at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central; and a record breaking airshow that featured aircraft orders exceeding $200 billion – the bulk of which was placed by Dubai’s flag carriers,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

The total number passengers passing through the airport reached a record 6.05 million in December, which was 13.6 per cent more than 5.32 million in the same month in 2012. Dubai is now the world’s second busiest airport after Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US.

Average number of passengers per aircraft movement rose by 4.5 per cent to 198 in 2013 from 189 a year earlier 2012, while total aircraft movements increased by 7.5 per cent to 369,953 from 344,245. Aircraft movements in December were up 6.1 per cent to 32,832, compared to 30,945 in December 2012, as a total of 28 new destinations were added mainly through the expanding networks of Dubai-based airlines flydubai and Emirates bringing the total passenger destinations served by Dubai to 239.

India retained its position as Dubai’s single largest destination country with 8.40 million passengers, up 14.3 per cent from 7.35 million. The UK was second with an increase of 19 per cent to 5.09 million passengers, followed by Saudi Arabia up by 34.2 per cent to 4.82 million.

Cargo traffic increased by 6.8 per cent in 2013 to 2.43 million tonnes from 2.28 million tonnes in 2012. Freight traffic in December rose by 8 per cent to 218,138 tonnes from 201,949 tonnes.