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Dubai Busiest Airport for International Travel

by AFP
Karim Sahib—AFP

Karim Sahib—AFP

Operator announces over 78 million passengers through Dubai in 2015.

Dubai International remained the world’s busiest airport for international travel last year with a 10.7 percent rise in passenger numbers, its operator said on Monday.

More than 78 million passengers passed through Dubai in 2015, led by an increase in travelers from India, Britain and Saudi Arabia, the state-owned airport said in a statement. Almost 10.4 million Indians arrived at Dubai last year, a 17 percent rise from 2014. Britons arriving increased six percent to 5.7 million travellers, and the number of Saudi arrivals rose 12 percent to 5.5 million.

Dubai last year announced it had overtaken Britain’s Heathrow as the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, and saw 70.4 million international travelers pass through in 2014.

Situated on transcontinental air routes, Dubai is one of several Gulf-based airports to experience prodigious growth in recent years. Around 100 airlines fly to more than 240 destinations from the international hub, which is also home to carrier Emirates.

Like Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Qatar’s state-owned operator, Emirates has come under fire from U.S. and European carriers who accuse them of receiving subsidies from the oil-rich region’s governments. U.S. officials opened investigations into the alleged subsidies last year following complaints from three major U.S. carriers.

Dubai’s second airport, Al-Maktoum International, opened in 2013 and will be capable of receiving 120 million passengers a year once fully operational.

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