Dubai International Airport (DXB) has reported passenger traffic of 5.75 million in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, a 67.8% slump from the same period in 2020 that largely escaped the jitters of the Covid-19-induced turbulence.

The operator stated that travel curbs by airlines and airports globally amid a spike in Covid-19 cases were placed only towards the end of March last year.

Of the total passenger traffic in Q1 2021, more than two million was recorded in March alone.

By the end of Q1 2021, the airport provided services to around 63% of the stops in 89% of the countries via 74% of the carriers, in comparison with the period before the pandemic.

However, the operator noted that the airport is gradually recovering in passenger numbers and cargo volumes.

The airport managed 550,811t of airfreight during Q1 2021, marking a 3.2% rise from the previous year.

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The combined flight movements in the first three months of 2021 were 50,176, representing a drop of 38.3% from a year ago.

With around 1.3 million traffic, India retained its spot as DXB’s top destination country.

India was followed by Pakistan, Bangladesh and Russia, with other notable destination countries including Egypt and Turkey.

Dubai Airports mentioned that the top three cities served by the airport were New Delhi, Dhaka and Addis Ababa.

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said: “Whilst passenger numbers for the first quarter remained significantly below the monthly volumes we handled before March 2020, in the context of the current global situation they are very encouraging and reflect the consolidation phase in our business recovery.

“Despite the ongoing challenges to air travel as the world continues to battle against the impact of the global pandemic, as an important hub, DXB will continue to play its role of enabling mobility and connectivity and contribute to the much needed social and economic recovery globally.”