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Dubai airport remains world’s busiest for international travel

Heathrow Airport in London is the second busiest.

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An Emirates plane comes in for landing at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel (Jon Gambrell/AP)

An Emirates plane comes in for landing at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel (Jon Gambrell/AP)

An Emirates plane comes in for landing at Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest for international travel (Jon Gambrell/AP)

Dubai International Airport said on Wednesday that it maintained its title as the world’s busiest for international travel, despite closing one of its runways for repairs last year and the ongoing grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

The airport, home to long-haul carrier Emirates, saw 86.4 million passengers in 2019, six million more than second-placed Heathrow Airport in London.

But that is down 3% from 2018, which saw 89.1 million passengers at Dubai International.

The airport blamed the weaker numbers in part on a 45-day closure of its southern runway, the bankruptcy of India’s Jet Airways and the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max.

Government-owned Emirates’ low-cost sister carrier, FlyDubai, had been flying a number of the Maxes in its fleet.

It is the sixth year for Dubai International Airport to hold the crown as the world’s busiest for international travel.

The world’s busiest airport overall is Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

PA Media