A total of 4.8 million passengers used Dubai International airport in January this year.

Total traffic for the month stood at 4,852,139, which was a 14 per cent increase on the 4,254,735 passengers recorded in January 2011. Dubai International airport handled 50.9 million passengers in 2011.

The largest increases in passenger traffic were in regions such as the GCC, Western Europe, India, Russia and the CIS states. Traffic to South America surged due to Emirates Airline starting new routes to Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. Traffic on Middle East routes continued to fall due to the ongoing civil unrest in the region.

Total aircraft movements at the airport in January stood at 29,680, an 8.4 per cent rise on the 27,385 movements recorded for the same month the previous year. Cargo volumes decreased by 2.6 per cent to 173,531 tonnes, reflecting weaker global airfreight demand.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports predicts traffic will reach 56.5 million by the end of 2012. The opening of Concourse 3 in 2013 will increase Dubai airport’s capacity to 75 million from its current 60 million passengers a year. The new Al-Maktoum International airport at Jebel Ali is also expected to open its passenger terminal this year.