Airfreight volumes at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) surged 262.5 per cent in 2014, according to operator Dubai Airports in its year-end traffic report released on 10 February.
The gateway handled 758,371 tonnes during the 12 months compared to the 209,209 tonnes handled in 2013.
Record figures were posted due to the completion of the shift of all freighter operators from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to DWC by May 2014, and as last year was the first full year of passenger operations.
Dubai Airports chief executive officer, Paul Griffiths says it was a very important year for DWC as the airport played a critical role during the runway refurbishment programme at DXB by accommodating a substantial volume of passenger traffic. In the fourth quarter alone, DWC registered robust growth with cargo volumes reaching 238,520 tonnes, up 278.4 per cent compared to the 63,028 tonnes recorded during the same period the year before.
The increased activity in passenger and freight operations at DWC propelled the number of annual aircraft movements by 91.6 per cent to 47,655 compared to 24,871 during 2013.
During the fourth quarter, the airport recorded 11,687 aircraft movements, up 47 per cent compared to 7,948 during the corresponding period in 2013. “The scale of DWC’s operations and the significance of its role will continue to grow in 2015,” notes Griffiths.
Griffiths puts this down to DWC now being Dubai’s main hub for pure cargo carriers, airlines taking advantage of the airport’s facilities, the road feeder service to DXB, and the bonded link to the Jebel Ali Port. In 2014, airfreight volumes at DXB reached 2,367,574 tonnes, down 3.1 per cent on the 2,443,624 tonnes in 2013, which was down to the shift of freighter operators to DWC. Last week, the International Air Transport Association reported that the Middle East airfreight market grew by 11 per cent in 2014, and labeled it the world’s “hub for freight traffic”.