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Dubai Airport's Passenger Traffic At Dubai Airport Co Touch Pre-Covid Levels Prior Than Predicted, Says CEO

Dubai Airport's  Passenger Traffic At Dubai Airport Co Touch Pre-Covid Levels Prior Than Predicted, Says CEO
According to Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths, air passenger volume in Dubai might approach pre-pandemic levels in 2024, a year earlier than previously predicted.
“We recorded 13.6 million passengers in that first quarter [at Dubai International Airport]. This is causing us to revise our forecast for the year,” he told CNBC’s Dan Murphy on Wednesday, calling it an “extremely encouraging” result.
“Originally, we thought 2025, but it’s quite likely we’re going to be back to pre-Covid levels — maybe as early as Q1 or Q2 of 2024,” he said.
According to Dubai Airports, passenger counts for the first quarter of 2022 are up roughly 140 per cent from the same period in 2021, and are up 15.7 per cent from the last quarter of 2021.
Some of the tourists to Dubai are actually assisting in increasing our point-to-point traffic to over 100 per cent of pre-Covid levels.
According to the Airports Council Foreign, despite the fact that air traffic dropped during the epidemic, Dubai International Airport remained the busiest airport for international travellers in 2020 and 2021.
In 2021, the airport will handle 29.1 million passengers, up from 25.9 million in 2020. Griffiths estimates 58.3 million people to pass through the airport this year, a far cry from the 86.4 million passengers that passed through before the pandemic in 2019.
The United Arab Emirates' Dubai International and Dubai World Central Airports are managed by Dubai Airports, which is owned by the city's government.
Despite growing to 29.1 million passengers last year, passenger volume at Dubai International Airport, the world's busiest, is "nowhere near pre-pandemic levels" and would not recover to pre-Covid levels before 2024, its CEO told AFP on February 22.
Dubai remains the world's busiest airport for the eighth consecutive year, according to figures released on Tuesday, jumping 12.7 per cent from 2020.
Point-to-point traffic between Dubai and the rest of the world has recovered "very strongly," according to Griffiths.
“Some of the visitors to Dubai actually are helping boost our point-to-point traffic numbers to more than 100% of pre-Covid levels,” he said.
According to the press release, the recovery in the transportation industry has been sluggish and sits at roughly 60% of 2019 levels.
He added that certain markets, such as those in Southeast Asia and Australasia, closed their borders for a time but are now reopening.
“So hopefully, during May, we will see rebounds in the Chinese travel market, further strengthening in Australasia and all the traditional markets that are very good for us for transfer traffic will be back to their former strength,” he said.
China has maintained its zero-Covid policy and set stringent limitations in recent weeks to deal with breakouts in Shanghai and Beijing.
Griffiths added that health and safety restrictions for air travel, including as testing and mask rules on planes, may soon be relaxed in Dubai.
“We’re not far away from a total relaxation,” he said, noting that vaccinated travelers to Dubai don’t need to be tested on arrival.
“We’re very anxious, obviously, to relax restrictions, but not until it’s safe to do so,” he added.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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