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Dubai airport bucks global trend to record growth

The year-to-date passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport has reached 26,878,331; up from 25,182,526 in the corresponding period of 2008, an increase of 6.7 per cent according to the latest figures.

According to the Gulf News daily, this contrasts with the seven percent contraction seen in international passengers worldwide year-to-date as reported by Airports Council International (ACI).

Despite the continuing global downturn in air freight movement, Dubai is maintaining its position among the world's top five hubs for international cargo volumes, the UAE-based daily added.

The year-to-date cargo movement reached 1,198,546 tonnes, up from 1,197,522 tonnes during the same period in 2008, for a marginal increase of 0.1 per cent, it said.

By comparison, ACI has reported that global volumes for international airfreight are down 20 per cent year to date.

Paul Griffiths, Dubai International Airport chief executive officer, said Dubai's sustained growth supports projections for a record-breaking year for the region's leading airport.

"The end of the summer also marked the beginning of the high season for tourists, which puts Dubai on track to set a new record of 40.5 million passengers by year end," said Griffiths.

Dubai International Airport released a traffic forecast that projected an 8.3 percent increase in passenger numbers in 2009 and a 13.6 percent rise in 2010, Gulf News added.

"Dubai is the only airport among the top 10 airports in terms of international passenger traffic to still record positive growth," said Griffiths.

Losses of Middle East airlines are predicted to shrink to $300m in 2010 from $1.2bn this year amid a growth in passenger demand, a new report by the International Air Transport Association said early this month.

Global airline losses in 2010 will total $5.6 billion, about half the $11 billion deficit that IATA predicts for this year, the report added.

It said passenger demand, after a decline of 4.1 percent in 2009, may grow by 4.5 percent in 2010 as the industry rebounds from the recession, IATA general director Giovanni Bisignani said in comments published by newswire Bloomberg.

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