Dubai: With Mumbai and Delhi featuring amongst the busiest routes from UAE, India remained Dubai Internationale's single biggest country destination in terms of passenger numbers last year.
The passenger traffic between Dubai and India continued to show robust growth during the past year, with total passenger traffic rising 7.4 percent year on year to 7.34 million passengers in 2012, the annual traffic report issued by Dubai Airports has said.
Traffic was bolstered by the introduction of Spicejet which added new flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi and Ahmedabad to Dubai.
Air India Express, Indigo and Emirates also added new flights and destinations during the year, it said in a statement released here on Sunday.
Following its busiest month and year on record, Dubai International has taken over as the world's third ranked airport for international passenger numbers, vaulting ahead of Hong Kong International Airport in the global rankings, Dubai Airports said.
Passenger traffic surged 13.2 percent to 57,684,550 in 2012, up from 50,977,960 passengers recorded during 2011. The 2012 passenger traffic also exceeded Dubai Airport's forecast at the start of the year of 56.5-million by more than 1 million passengers.
The year-end numbers were bolstered by a record 5,320,961 passengers in December 2012, 13.4 percent higher than the 4,690,726 passengers recorded in December 2011 and the second month in Dubai International's 52 year history that passenger traffic has exceeded 5 million passengers.
Aircraft movements for 2012 reached 344,245 movements, up 5.5 percent from the 326,318 movements recorded in 2011.
Regionally, South America was the fastest expanding market in terms of percentage growth in 2012 (+99.4 percent) due to the introduction of Emirates flights to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. The Russia & CIS region followed in second place (+36.9 percent), Australasia (+21.9 percent) in third spot and GCC fourth (+19.4 percent).
New Emirates flights to Washington, Dallas Fort Worth and Seattle during the year saw North American passenger traffic grow 18.6 percent, making it the fifth fastest growing region.
Freight volumes rebounded towards the end of last year, helping total volumes for 2012 rise 3.9 percent to 2,279,624 tonnes from 2,194,264 tonnes recorded in 2011. In December, cargo volumes climbed 6.5 percent from 189,593 tonnes in December 2011 to 201,949 tonnes in December 2012.