DUBAI, May 5 (Reuters) – Passenger traffic through Dubai International Airport, which passed London’s Heathrow last year as the world’s busiest airport for international passenger business, rose 7.2 percent from a year ago in March, its operator said on Tuesday.
Passengers totalled 6.74 million, boosted by new flights added by Dubai carriers Emirates and flydubai. In the first three months of this year, passenger traffic climbed 6.8 percent from a year earlier to 19.61 million.
Dubai Airports also said construction would begin later this year on expansion of the passenger terminal at Dubai World Central, the emirate’s other major airport.
The expansion, expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2017, will boost the terminal’s current annual capacity of 6 million passengers a year to 26 million, Dubai Airports said.
“As Dubai International nears its capacity limit due to the rapid growth of passenger traffic, DWC will play an increasingly important role in absorbing additional traffic,” it said.
The terminal expansion is to be followed by a $32 billion project, announced last September, to expand DWC to handle over 200 million people annually by the end of the next decade, roughly triple the current level of passenger traffic through the emirate. (Reporting by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Olzhas Auyezov)