02/13/2014, 00.00
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Dubai air passenger traffic grows at Hong Kong's expense but service remains poor

by Paul Wang
Dubai, the world's third busiest airport for passenger traffic, has become an important stopover between Asia-Pacific and Europe. The Kangaroo route prefers Dubai, but passengers transiting through the Emirates complain about poor infrastructure, rude staff, and bad connecting schedules.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - Dubai International Airport is increasingly becoming more important for intercontinental flights between the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. This has penalised Hong Kong. However, when it comes to quality of service Dubai is not even among the top ten. Hong Kong instead is in fourth place.

In 2013, Hong Kong International Airport on Chek Lap Kok Island handled 60 million passengers, an increase of 6 per cent. Dubai International handled instead 66 million, a jump of 15.2 per cent. Since last year, it is the third busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic.

Dubai and other UAE airports (Abu Dhabi and Doha) have become important stopovers on the long routes between the Pacific and Europe. This has negatively impacted Hong Kong and Singapore.

Kangaroo route passengers making a hop in Dubai increased 37.5 per cent year on year; by contrast, the number of passengers on that route via Hong Kong slumped 17 per cent year.

Likewise, the number of passengers on direct flights from Hong Kong to the ten top European destinations dropped 3.2 per cent, whilst the number of passengers who made a stop-over in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha increased by 2 per cent.

However, fast growth also brought more passenger complaints over Dubai International's escalators, elevators, smoking lounge, staff and connecting flights.

Despite being the world's third busiest airport last year, Dubai is not in the top ten favourite airports according to passengers.

Singapore's Changi Airport comes in first with Hong Kong in fourth position in terms of luggage handling, staff friendliness, shopping experience and . . .  working escalators and elevators.

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