Al Maktoum International Airport. Al Maktoum International Airport.

 Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport, also known as Dubai World Central (DWC), recorded a steep rise in passenger traffic last year, climbing 84.5% from 461,063 passengers in 2015 to a total of 850,633 in 2016.

Dubai Airport’s traffic report for DWC said fourth-quarter passenger traffic was also up compared to the same period in 2015 – by 39.9% from 177,608 to 248,405.

Passenger traffic growth at DWC is mainly driven by flydubai, which operates on average 41 weekly flights to five destinations from DWC, in addition to its operations at Dubai International’s Terminal 2, the report noted.

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Aircraft movements during the fourth quarter of 2016 totalled 9,290, down 21 percent from 11,763 during the same period in 2015.

Dubai Airports said DWC is served by 27 passenger carriers at present, which operate an average of 108 flights per week to 44 international destinations. In addition, 64 scheduled cargo operators use DWC to fly to around 138 international destinations.

The report also said DWC air freight volumes showed a slight increase during 2016 with 897,998 tonnes, up 0.8 percent compared to 890,912 tonnes in 2015.

Cargo volumes recorded strong growth in the fourth quarter with 252,300 tonnes of air freight, up 10.3 percent compared to 228,770 tonnes during the same period in 2015.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “After having emerged as one of the top 20 international cargo hubs, DWC is now growing steadily in stature as a passenger hub, and we are pleased with the growth in passenger traffic in 2016.”

“Considering the unique proposition DWC offers to airlines in terms of easy availability of slots, quick turn-around times, quick transit times though the airport for passengers and access to new catchment area – not to forget the expansion project underway that will more than quadruple its capacity to 26 million passengers by next year – we expect the growth trend to continue this year, and beyond,” he added.

However, DWC saw a 5.6% year-on-year drop in total aircraft movements in 2016, from 40,947 movements to 38,671.