Airport operator Dubai Airports projects that Dubai International Airport (DXB) will become the world’s busiest airport for international passengers as early as 2015.
Now ranked fourth for international traffic and cargo, DXB is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 7.2% in the next decade. Dubai International expects 75.3 million total passengers in 2015.
Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International (DWC), which opened for cargo operations last June, is scheduled to begin passenger flights in 2012. The 10-year forecast projects DWC as a candidate to evolve into the world’s largest airport, with its capacity of handling 160 million passengers and 12 million metric tons of cargo a year. The airport's growth rate for passengers and cargo is forecast at 6.7% a year.
Dubai Airports issued the forecast Tuesday. The positive outlook is rooted in trends toward increased liberalization, growth of gross domestic product and increasingly affluent and mobile populations in emerging markets, says Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports CEO. Dubai is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth, he says, because of its location 8 hr. from two-thirds of the world’s population and situated “at the doorstep of two of the most dynamic markets in the world—India and China.”
Dubai-based Emirates and Flydubai are preparing for growth with orders for 200 and 34 aircraft, respectively. Dubai will build a dedicated Airbus A380 facility at Dubai International scheduled for opening at the end of 2012.
Total cargo for both airports is expected to nearly double from 2.27 million metric tons in 2010 to 4.1 million tons in 2020.