Cargo volume up strongly in Dubai: A temporary shift of about 600 flights per week, including all of Emirates’ freighter flights, from Dubai International (DXB) to Dubai World Central (DWC) during a runway upgrade project made year-over-year comparisons of monthly cargo volumes at the two airports meaningless for much of the second quarter. However, combining data from the two airports paints a picture of continued strong growth.
As shown in the chart, DXB’s handle dropped 8.2% to 570,000 tonnes In the second quarter, but the shift in traffic more than quadrupled DWC’s handle to 200,000 tonnes. The combined cargo handle for the two Dubai airports was up 14.9% in the quarter to 769,000 tonnes. For the first half, the combined handle was up 11.6% to 1.46 million tonnes.
Given that cargo volume increases reported by Dubai-based Emirates have been in the 7% – 8% range for most of this year, the much bigger increases reported by the airports indicates that volume moved to, from, and through Dubai by other airlines is increasing at a much faster rate.
And in Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), just 75 km from Dubai reported even stronger growth than its neighbor, with its first-half cargo handle up 16.0% to 378,000 tonnes. AUH is home to rapidly-expanding Etihad Airways, which reported its first half-cargo volume up 25% to 269,000 tonnes.