Dubai: Al Maktoum International handled less freight in 2013 compared to the previous year, according to figures released by Dubai Airports on Wednesday.
Air freight volumes at Dubai’s newest airport, located at Dubai World Central (DWC) in the emirates south, fell by 4.5 per cent year-on-year.
The Al Maktoum International cargo facility handled 209,209 tonnes of air freight during 2013 compared to 219,092 tonnes in 2012.
Dubai Airports stated that the decline was due to fluctuations in chartered air traffic throughout the year.
Despite the overall year-on-year decline, air freight cargo volumes jumped 15.9 per cent in the fourth quarter.
Month-on-month cargo volumes also jumped at the end of the year. The airport handled 23,661 tonnes of freight in December compared to 18,025 tonnes in the same 2012 month.
“Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central has made a mark as a cargo airport of regional significance with two consecutive years of handling over 200,000 tonnes of freight,” Paul Grifftihs, Dubai Airports chief executive officer, stated.
Total aircraft landings and take-offs jumped in 2013, which is largely contributed to the launch of passenger services in October. Dubai Airports stated that aircraft movements in 2013 reached 24,871, a 52.5 per cent jump from the 16,317 in the previous year.
Al Maktoum International handled 65,197 passengers since opening in late October 2013. The airport is currently served by three airlines — Wizz Air, Jazeera Airways and Gulf Air.
Passenger figures are likely to increase this year with the launch of Qatar Airways passenger services in March. There is also likely to be a spike when flydubai, Royal Brunei and possibly other airlines briefly operate select passenger services from the airport between May and July.
“As passengers begin to take notice of DWC’s benefits as a fast and efficient facility for point-to-point service, located so close to numerous communities in new Dubai, the airport is well positioned for continued growth in the months and years to come,” Griffiths stated.