Freight volumes at Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport rose considerably during the second quarter of 2012, surging 153 percent, year-over-year, to 56,271 tonnes. The Middle Eastern airport recorded even more dramatic growth from a six-month perspective, with cargo traffic increasing 226 percent, year-over-year.
DWC, which opened in June 2010 to freight carriers, also saw a marked increase in aircraft movements during the first half of 2012. The number of takeoffs and landings at DWC grew 196 percent, year-over-year, from January to June, transitioning from 2,526 movements in the first half of 2011 to 7,474 movements; 3,961 of these aircraft movements occurred during the second quarter, according to Dubai Airports’ statistics.
In a press release, Dubai Airports’ officials attributed much of this growth to the launch of Saudi Airlines Cargo’s thrice-weekly flights to DWC during the first half of the year and National Air Cargo’s dedicated service to the airport. These carriers join roughly 34 other airlines that fly to DWC, although negotiations with a number of other interested airlines are currently underway.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, expects DWC to become an even bigger player in the Middle Eastern cargo sector moving forward. “Dubai Airports’ total cargo volumes are expected to top 4 million tonnes by 2020, and an increasing portion of that growth is expected to spill over to DWC,” he said in a statement. “Right now, we are seeing tremendous incremental growth as airlines come to recognize the many advantages that DWC offers them.”
Griffiths added that DWC’s accessibility to the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone, along with the airport’s abundance of takeoff and landing slots, are “very attractive propositions for cargo carriers.”
DWC’s operations have also been bolstered by the presence of dnata, Emirates Airline’s ground-handling subsidiary. In fact, dnata handled 127,665 tonnes of cargo at FreightGate-8 — its terminal at DWC — during fiscal-year 2011-2012, a whopping 700-percent, year-over-year, increase.