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‘Passenger traffic at Dubai Airport will not recover to pre-Covid levels before 2024’

Passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport will not recover to pre-Covid levels before 2024, its CEO Paul Griffiths has said, reports AFP. Traffic remains “nowhere near pre-pandemic levels” despite rising to 29.1 million passengers last year, he said in an interview.

The figures announced on Tuesday, up 12.7 perc ent from 2020, mean that Dubai remains the world’s busiest airport for the eighth consecutive year. However, it is still a long way from the 86 million passengers seen in 2019, before the pandemic ravaged the air industry. “We are nowhere near the pre-pandemic levels,” said Griffiths, adding that Dubai had weathered the storm better than many other airports. “I think it’s quite gratifying that for the eighth year in succession we are still the world’s busiest international airport, so that’s a very good statistic,” he said.

“It means that although our figures aren’t what we would like them to be, other airports have clearly fared a lot worse than we have.” Passenger figures collapsed to 25.9 million in 2020, a drop of 70 percent, when Dubai airport was closed from March to July and fleets were grounded around the world.

More than a third of last year’s passengers flew in the final quarter, when travel restrictions eased and Dubai opened its Expo 2020 world exhibition and hosted the Dubai Airshow, the worlds first since the pandemic. This year, the airport is projecting 57 million passengers but is hoping to exceed the target, Griffiths said. “Fifty-seven is our projection for 2022, but if current growth rates continue, I hope we’ll smash through that target,” he said. (Source: AFP)

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