UAE airports surpass 134m passenger mark in 2023, 140m projected by 2024 - GulfToday

UAE airports surpass 134m passenger mark in 2023, 140m projected by 2024


Photo used for illustrative purpose.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), announced that the UAE’s airports surpassed 134 million passenger mark in 2023 and are projected to reach 140 million by 2024.

He attributed this achievement to the robustness and competitiveness of the UAE aviation sector, which has earned considerable international confidence.

In a statement to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), Al Suwaidi highlighted that UAE airports recorded approximately 38 million arrivals, 37.805 million departures, and 58.328 million transit passengers in 2023. He emphasised that this growth was bolstered by the resurgence of tourism and the successful hosting of major international conferences towards the end of the year.

Expressing optimism for 2024, Al Suwaidi anticipated further growth in passenger traffic to potentially reach 140 million. He mentioned expansions underway at international airports, particularly the inauguration of Zayed International Airport - Terminal A and the current expansion at Al Maktoum International Airport. These developments will enable UAE carriers to operate more flights to diverse destinations.

Al Suwaidi underscored the UAE’s robust aviation sector, boasting over 521 aircraft belonging to national carriers and a total of 924 registered aircraft in the country. He also highlighted the presence of numerous local and foreign aircraft maintenance companies, training institutions, and specialised medical facilities catering to civil aviation.

Regarding unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for amateurs, Al Suwaidi noted that over 22,000 are registered with the GCAA, but their operation remains suspended until further notice.

Looking ahead, Al Suwaidi outlined strategic projects focused on improving airspace management and ensuring smooth air traffic flow. Over Dhs700 million has been allocated to upgrade services at the Sheikh Zayed Air Navigation Centre over the next decade.

He mentioned that the authority is actively implementing a variety of transformative projects and initiatives aimed at directly fostering the economic and operational development of the aviation sector.

Etihad expands schedule: Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is expanding its summer schedule with flights to two new destinations: Antalya, Turkey (three weekly flights starting June 15th) and Jaipur, India (four weekly flights starting June 16th). This strengthens Abu Dhabi’s role as a global travel hub.

“As we move forward, our enhanced summer schedule marks an important step in our growth strategy, offering our guests additional flexibility and choice,” said Arik De, Etihad Airways Chief Revenue and Commercial Officer.

“Our goal is to offer our guests unparalleled travel choices and opportunities to explore the distinctive charm of Abu Dhabi, both as a premier destination and as a gateway to the world.

“With the expansion of our flight frequencies and the extension of our network, we are elevating Abu Dhabi’s global links and warmly welcoming more travellers to immerse themselves in our emirate’s rich history and dynamic culture. This includes the exceptional experience awaiting them at Zayed International Airport - Terminal A, our new home, which redefines the benchmarks for travel comfort and service excellence.”

Antalya: Turkish Riviera gem, blending history, natural beauty, and modern charm.

Jaipur: India’s vibrant “Pink City,” rich in cultural heritage with stunning palaces like Hawa Mahal and City Palace

Etihad Airways is significantly expanding its summer schedule, offering passengers greater connectivity and broader travel options. This includes increased frequencies to key destinations like Thiruvananthapuram (10 weekly flights), Amman (14 weekly flights), Cairo (24 weekly flights), Karachi (17 weekly flights), and Colombo (20 weekly flights). Additionally, the airline is launching new routes to Antalya, Turkey (3 weekly flights) and Jaipur, India (4 weekly flights), bringing its total network to 75 destinations and Indian gateways to 11. This expansion reflects Etihad’s commitment to the Indian market and strengthens its global reach. Passengers will also benefit from the sophisticated amenities and customer-focused services offered at the newly inaugurated Terminal A at Zayed International Airport Abu Dhabi.

Emirates to restart daily Phnom Penh services: Emirates will bring back its daily Phnom Penh service starting from 1 May via Singapore, boosting the airline’s Southeast Asian connectivity to/from Dubai, and linking two trade and leisure centres in the region.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Deputy President, and Chief Commercial Officer commented: “The resumption of our Phnom Penh services demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our Southeast Asian network, as we continue to create more opportunities for travellers to explore diverse and culturally rich destinations, and help businesses and exporters of all sizes establish stronger trade connections.

We thank the Cambodian and Singaporean authorities for their support in establishing this new route. We look forward to re-introducing our customers to yet another vibrant destination on our network as they explore the world.”

The service will be operated with a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Emirates’ flight EK348 will depart Dubai at 0230hrs and arrives in Singapore at 1405hrs. The flight will then depart Singapore at 1535hrs arriving in Phnom Penh at 1635hrs. Emirates’ return flight EK349 will leave Phnom Penh at 2050hrs and arrives in Singapore at 2350hrs. The flight will then depart Singapore at 0140hrs the next day arriving in Dubai at 0455hrs. All times are local.

Phnom Penh’s linked schedule with Singapore is conveniently timed, providing optimal connecting opportunities to and from multiple cities in France, UK, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Through this additional connection, Emirates will serve Singapore with four daily flights starting from 1 May.

Emirates SkyCargo will also offer cargo bellyhold capacity on the Boeing 777-300ER of more than 300 tonnes per week in and out of Phnom Penh. Main commodities exported from Phnom Penh includes textiles, pharmaceuticals, and other high-value commodities.

The new Emirates services will offer 8 First Class private suites, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. Travellers will also be able to enjoy the airline’s award-winning service and industry-leading products across all classes, with regionally-inspired dishes and complimentary beverages and the airline’s ice inflight entertainment system which offers up to 6,500 channels of on-demand entertainment in over 40 languages, including movies, TV shows, and an extensive musical library along with games, audio books and podcasts.



Related articles