Dubai International Airport (DXB) has been named the world’s busiest international airport in May, as travelers gradually return to the skies.The airport’s scheduled capacity was 1,895,866 in May, according to the reports of aviation intelligence firm OAG, despite many of its source markets being closed to international travelers.
It kicked out London Heathrow from the top spot, with the UK airport plummeting to seventh place at capacity of 747,420.Two other regional airports dominated the list, with Istanbul Ataturk coming in second at around 1.3 million capacity, followed by Doha International Airport at 1.24 million.
The rankings are based on scheduled capacity compared to the same month in 2019, pre-pandemic.Four Middle East air routes were the busiest in May, three of which connect Cairo to Jeddah, Riyadh and Dubai.
Within Saudi Arabia, the Jeddah-Riyadh route was one of the busiest in May with 547,936 capacity.Boosted by passenger numbers breaching the 2 million mark in March, DXB’s passenger volumes for the first quarter this year reached 5.75 million.
This translated to a contraction of 67.8 percent compared to Q1 2020, which was largely unaffected by the pandemic related suspension of operations by airlines and airports worldwide towards the end of March.
India, which is traditionally a strong market for the UAE, retained its position as DXB’s top destination country with traffic for Q1 reaching 1,384,448, followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and Russia.The top three cities were New Delhi, Dhaka and Addis Ababa.