November 7, 2019 / 10:34 AM / a month ago

Dubai airport passenger traffic falls 2.4% in third quarter

FILE PHOTO: An Emirates Airline plane lands at the Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Christopher Pike/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport for international travelers, reported a 2.4% fall in third-quarter passenger traffic on Thursday.

The airport, home to airlines Emirates and flydubai, said it handled 23.2 million passengers in the three months to Sept. 30. That compares with roughly 22.6 million in the same period a year ago.

In the first nine months of this year, 64.5 million passengers traveled through the airport, 4.5% fewer than the same period last year.

Operator Dubai Airports blamed the year-to-date decline on a 45-day closure of a runway between May and April, and the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX jet since March.

Both Emirates and flydubai have reported lower passenger traffic so far this year.

The amount of cargo handled fell 5.9% in the third quarter to 636,575 tonnes, while the year-to-date figure dropped 4.1% to 1.9 million tonnes.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Pravin Char

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