With 83 million passengers this year, Dubai's Al Maktoum International Airport is set to become the world's busiest airport by 2020, in time for the planned Dubai Expo 2020. Serving as the main transfer hub of Dubai's flagship airline, Emirates', the growth is said to have come from the airlines' expansion in recent years.
Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports tells Traveller AU that, "The growth rates that we are experiencing are more than double what is being experienced by both Beijing and Atlanta. Within perhaps this decade, we should see ourselves exceeding the total traffic through those airports for the number 1 absolute spots." Overtaking London Heathrow this year, Griffiths says that it expects 90 million people using the airport next year.
All this rise in traffic, despite a five-hour shutdown in August due to an Emirates jet that crash-landed on the tarmac. The country's civil aviation office is continuing investigations and are to release their findings. The emergency occurrence, however, did not seem to have deterred Dubai's annual traffic target.
With Dubai currently in 3rd place of being the world's busiest airport, it now faces stiff competition with the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, hub of American-owned Delta Airlines and Beihing Capital International Airport. The Telegraph lists the World's Busiest Airports for this year:
1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2. Beijing Capital International Airport
3. Dubai International Airport
4. O'Hare International Airport
5. Tokyo Haneda Airport
6. London Heathrow Airport
7. Los Angeles International Airport
8. Hong Kong International Airport
9. Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
10. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Alternatively, The Telegraph released a list of the World's Best Airports with Singapore Changi, Incheon Seoul, and Munich Airports taking the top 3 spots. Although it is set to meet its goal as the busiest airport, it will have to strive harder to land on the list of the world's best airports.
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