Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. (ITP Images) Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports. (ITP Images)

Dubai International Airport's monthly passenger traffic exceeded the 4.5 million mark for the second consecutive month in February, according to figures released on Tuesday.

Freight volumes also witnessed an upturn after months of flat growth, according to operator Dubai Airports.

Passenger traffic surged 19 percent in February - a 16 month high - to reach 4,561,147 passengers compared to 3,831,385 recorded in the same month in 2011.

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This follows the airport's record traffic of over 4.8 million passengers in January, propelling the year to date passenger traffic by 16.4 percent to 9,413,286.


The GCC continued to top the list of regions with the largest increase in total passenger numbers in February, followed by the Indian subcontinent, Western Europe and Africa.

The downward trend on Middle Eastern routes continued in February because of the instability in the region, Dubai Airports said.

In terms of percentage passenger growth, South America remained the strongest market due to Emirates Airline's new routes to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, followed by Russia and CIS mainly due to the expansion of flydubai operations.

Dubai International recorded a total of 27,058 aircraft movements during February, up 9.8 percent compared to 24,646 last February.

After months of weak performance, cargo volumes surged 6.5 percent to 157,492 tonnes compared to 147,937 tonnes in February last year.

"February marks the twelfth consecutive month with passenger traffic exceeding the four million mark, and with the growth expected to maintain momentum in the coming months we are well on track to achieve the targeted 56.5 million passenger traffic for 2012," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

"The completion of the Concourse 3 project by the end of 2012 is in line with this forecast and will expand Dubai International's capacity at the right time, ensuring that our growth continues unhindered."

The airport currently has an annual capacity of 60 million passengers, increasing to 75 million passengers by next year with the opening of Concourse 3, the world's first A380 facility dedicated for use by Emirates Airline.

Dubai International is the fourth-busiest airport worldwide for international passenger and cargo traffic.