Changes to UAE visa rules in 2017, which began offering visitors from Russia visa on arrival in 2017, drove traffic to Dubai World Central, DWC, as more than 900,000 passengers arrived in 2017, the operator Dubai Airports annual traffic report revealed on 15 February.
In 2017, DWC welcomed 904,940 passengers as against 850,633 passengers in 2016, an increase of 6.4 percent. The annual figures rose primarily because of a spurt in traffic on the Eastern European circuit as they rose by 168 percent to register 452,631 arrivals during 2017.
The changes in visa rule in 2017 saw Russia become the single largest contributor to arrivals from Eastern Europe as it registered a growth of 955.4 percent to welcome 279,100 passengers arriving from that country in 2017.
Meanwhile, traffic from Western Europe also increased as passenger arrivals touched 94,452, a growth of 34.6 percent. In this region, Germany was the single largest contributor as 41,671 passengers arrived, driven by Condor’s launch of service along with its partners Meeting Point International and FTI Group that links DWC with many German cities such as Leipzig, Frankfurt, Hannover, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Stuttgart, Munich, in addition to Basel in Switzerland.
DWC’s top traffic contributors at DWC in 2017 included airlines such as Condor, Wizz Air, Ural Airlines, Royal Flight and Azur Air. This airport was witness to an increased average passenger per flight of 36.3 percent during 2017 to touch 129 as against 94 in 2016.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying that this year’s performance of DWC was very heartening in terms of passenger numbers and also cargo volumes.
He added that Dubai airport was becoming increasingly popular with air carriers, which were running point-to-point routes, because of the convenience advantages, cost efficiency and quick turnaround times that airlines and passengers were offered.
Griffiths added that 2018 will see DWC offering much more to their customers and airline partners as the expansion project of the passenger terminal building to increase the capacity to 26 million passengers from five million passengers per year is close to completion.
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