Dubai International airport’s (DXB) runway closure has led to a drop in its passenger traffic by 5.6 percent. The airport has still maintained to manage its position of being the largest one for international passenger traffic globally.

According to reports, the Dubai airport passenger traffic reached 41.3 million passengers in the first half of 2019 amid the runway closure.

The airport had shut down its southern runway for the purpose of rehabilitation from April 16 to May 30. Dubai airport’s runway closure led to a reduction of its runway capacity by half its normal size and led to a reduction in the passenger flights by 32 percent.  The number of flights into the airport dropped by 11.6 percent to 178,383 while the cargo volume fell by 18.3 percent to 1.04 million.

“A significant portion of the cargo traffic at Dubai International is belly-hold which was impacted by the Southern runway rehabilitation programme,” Dubai Airports said in a statement.

India retained the position of being the most popular destination for Dubai travellers, with traffic for the first half of 2019 reaching 5.7 million. Delhi and Mumbai were the most popular cities in India. Saudi Arabia follows to be second with 3.1 million travellers, followed by United Kingdom with 2.8 million.

Most of the flights from Dubai airport were redirected to Dubai World Central, an international airport situated in Jebel Ali. The redirecting of flights caused an increase in the passenger traffic in DWC to almost double its usual traffic.  DWC had reported passenger traffic of 517,813 in the first half of 2018, which doubled to 1.2 million over the same period in 2019.

The introduction of smart gates in the Dubai international airport has reportedly reduced the waiting time by 25 percent in the first half of 2019.