PARIS: Dubai airport bids to overtake Heathrow

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Dubai International airport will overtake Heathrow as the world's busiest airport for international passengers by the end of 2014 or early 2015, its chief executive predicts.

"This year we will comfortably exceed 66 million passengers a year and possibly 67 million... I would imagine [overtaking the London airport] by the end of 2014, or beginning of 2015 because Heathrow's growth opportunities are limited," Paul Griffiths tells Flightglobal Pro at the Paris air show.

Dubai had predicted it would exceed 65 million passengers in 2013 but is now revising that figure upwards based on recent traffic growth, Griffiths adds.

"Going forward our original target was 90 million passengers by 2020, but it looks likely we will now exceed 100 million by 2020," he says.

Heathrow handled a record 70 million passengers in 2012 and is ranked the world's busiest airport for international traffic, but is operating at close to full capacity from its two runways.