Dubai International Airport sees faster recovery in passenger demand - GulfToday

Dubai International Airport sees faster recovery in passenger demand


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Dubai airport operator is optimistic demand for international travel is recovering faster than expected, upwardly revising on Monday its outlook for Dubai International Airport.

Chief Executive Paul Griffiths told media that 28 million passengers were now expected to pass through Dubai International this year, up from its most recent forecast of between 26 million and 27 million passengers, and that it was more bullish on 2022.

"We are looking at the forecast for 2022. It was previously about 56 million. Presumably it's going to get closer to 60 million once we have redone the numbers," he said at the Dubai Airshow.

The airport is the world's busiest for international travel and also the hub of Dubai state-owned airline Emirates.

The operator on Monday said 20.7 million passengers had passed through the airport in the year to October, of which half was in the four months between July and October.

Paul-Griffiths-750x450Paul Griffiths attends the Dubai Air Show in Dubai on Monday. AP

Griffiths said the airport had recovered 80% of its origin and destination traffic, though transit traffic was at 20%, and that more airlines were flying there than before the pandemic.

The COVID pandemic has wreaked havoc on the airline industry as countries shut borders and enforced lockdowns and curfews.

But Griffiths said he believed governments in countries with high vaccination rates would not return to lockdowns if COVID-19 cases spiked, and instead was worried if he had enough staff.

The airport could see record arrivals into Dubai between now and the end of the year, he said at the Dubai Airshow.

Dubai-Airport-2021-750x450 Dubai Airport has handled 20% more passenger traffic in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period last year. File

"There is some concern about the resourcing but our teams are working very hard to minimise any disruption and ensure the arrival and departure process goes as smoothly as it possibly can."

The airport, which expects to return to pre-pandemic passenger travel in 2024, handled 25.9 million passengers in 2020 and 86.4 million in 2019.



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