Dubai International Airport has seen airfreight volumes drop year-on-year (YOY) by 3.6 per cent in April, as the shift of freighter operations continues to result in declining figures.
Operator Dubai Airports says cargo reached 204,075 tonnes in the month, down on the 211,588 that was registered in April last year.
The figure was also a fall on March when 216,879 tonnes passed through the airport, which itself was a YOY drop of 4.9 per cent. April was up on February, when the airport handled 191,002 tonnes, a small YOY rise in volumes of 1.2 per cent, and the only month this year where volumes have risen. In January, 186,230 tonnes were processed, which was the largest fall in the first four months of the year, of 5.5 per cent.
For the first four months of 2015, cargo volumes have reached 798,771 tonnes, a contraction of 4.7 per cent compared to the 837,837 tonnes handled during the same period in 2014.
Dubai Airports explains: “The decline is caused by the shift of all freighter cargo operations to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central last year.” The operator made the strategic decision in May last year to move all freighter services to Al Maktoum.
As a result, last year, Dubai International saw cargo volumes fall by 3.1 per cent to 2.3 million tonnes. Al Maktoum has now become the regional cargo hub and has seen volumes increase significantly. In 2014, the airport saw cargo volumes surge by 262 per cent to 758,371 tonnes, which was a rise on the 209,209 tonnes in 2013.
In April, China Airlines was the latest carrier to relocate its regional cargo base to Al Maktoum. It joined the likes of Emirates SkyCargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Etihad Cargo, MASkargo and Turkish Airlines Cargo in moving its freighter operations.