A total of 5.8 million passengers travelled through Dubai International airport in March, marking an increase of more than 20 per cent on the same period last year.

It is the fourth consecutive month the airport has recorded more than 5 million passengers.

Passenger traffic to date stands at 16,486,417, an increase of up to 15.6 per cent compared with 14,261,606 recorded in the first three months of 2012.

The largest increase in passenger numbers were on western European routes, driven mainly by Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates and the low-cost airline Flydubai.

Cargo volumes also increased last month. A total of 213,748 tonnes of cargo was recorded, marking an increase of 14.7 per cent, compared with the 186,417 tonnes recorded in March.

Year-to-date cargo volumes rose by 13 per cent reaching 584,847 tonnes.

Dubai International became the second biggest airport in the world during the first quarter of this year. It also saw the opening of the world’s first purpose-built A380 facility, which will help alleviate congestion at the airport.