Passenger traffic at Dubai’s Al-Maktoum International airport increased 84.5 per cent year-on-year to reach 850,633 passengers, according to Dubai Airports Company.

The surge in passenger numbers in 2016 despite a 5.6 per cent contraction in aircraft movements appears to indicate that more passengers have chosen to fly using low-cost carrier Flydubai compared to the previous year.

Flydubai operates an average 41 weekly flights to five destinations from the airport.

The carrier has said it will move its main hub from Terminal 2 of Dubai International to Al-Maktoum International by the end of 2017, when the expansion of the passenger terminal at the airport is completed.

The expansion work is expected to take the airport’s capacity from 5 million to 26 million passengers annually.

Apart from Flydubai, some 26 passenger carriers operate flights at Al-Maktoum International airport in addition to 64 scheduled cargo operators that fly to up to 130 destinations globally, a Dubai Airports statement said.

At 897,998 tonnes, cargo volume at the airport increased only slightly, at 0.8 per cent, compared to 2015.

Apart from the expansion of the terminal, a $33bn expansion of the entire airport – envisaged to become the world’s largest – is underway.