Dubai keeps place as world’s busiest international airport despite slower growth

It overtook London Heathrow as the busiest for international travelers in 2014. (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 February 2018

Dubai keeps place as world’s busiest international airport despite slower growth

DUBAI: Dubai International Airport said it kept its place as the world’s busiest for international passengers in 2017 even as passenger traffic grew at its slowest pace in at least nine years.
Annual traffic increased 5.5 percent to 88.2 million passengers, compared to 83.6 million in the previous year, operator Dubai Airports said in a statement on Monday.
It was the airport’s slowest growth rate since at least 2009, according to Reuters calculations. The operator forecast a year ago a slightly higher passenger figure of 89 million.
This year, growth will slow to around 2.4 percent with the airport forecasting it would handle 90.3 million passengers.
Dubai airport handles almost entirely international flights and is the hub for the Middle East’s largest airline, Emirates . It overtook London Heathrow as the busiest for international travelers in 2014. Heathrow, which also handles domestic flights, reported 78 million passengers in 2017, up 3.1 percent, according to its website.
Dubai has since set its sights on overtaking the world’s busiest airports in Atlanta and Beijing by 2020.
The number of Russian passengers increased 28 percent to 1.3 million and Chinese travelers grew 19.4 percent to 2.2 million in 2017.
The UAE eased visa requirements for Russian travelers in 2017, and for Chinese passport holders in 2016.
India continued to be the single largest source market country with 12.06 million passengers using the airport, up 5.4 percent.
Annual cargo volumes grew 2.4 percent to 2.7 million tons.


France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

Updated 08 December 2019

France ready to take Trump’s tariff threat to WTO

  • Macron government will discuss a global digital tax with Washington at the OECD, says finance minister

PARIS: France is ready to go to the World Trade Organization to challenge US President Donald Trump’s threat to put tariffs on French goods in a row over a French tax on internet companies, its finance minister said on Sunday.

“We are ready to take this to an international court, notably the WTO, because the national tax on digital companies touches US companies in the same way as EU or French companies or Chinese. It is not discriminatory,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told France 3 television. Paris has long complained about US digital companies not paying enough tax on revenues earned in France.

In July, the French government decided to apply a 3 percent levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by firms with more than €25 million in French revenue and €750 million ($845 million) worldwide. It is due to kick in retroactively from the start of 2019.

Washington is threatening to retaliate with heavy duties on imports of French cheeses and luxury handbags, but France and the EU say they are ready to retaliate in turn if Trump carries out the threat. Le Maire said France was willing to discuss a global digital tax with the US at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but that such a tax could not be optional for internet companies.

“If there is agreement at the OECD, all the better, then we will finally have a global digital tax. If there is no agreement at OECD level, we will restart talks at EU level,” Le Maire said.

He added that new EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni had already proposed to restart such talks.

France pushed ahead with its digital tax after EU member states, under the previous executive European Commission, failed to agree on a levy valid across the bloc after opposition from Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

The new European Commission assumed office on Dec. 1.