May 16, 2022: -Air passenger traffic in Dubai may reach pre-pandemic levels in 2024, a year earlier than expected, Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said.
“We are recording 13.6 million passengers in that first quarter at Dubai International Airport. This can cause us to revise the forecast for the year,” he told CNBC on Wednesday, known as an “extremely encouraging” result.
“Originally, we thought 2025, but we’re likely going to be back to pre-Covid levels maybe Q1 or Q2 of 2024,” he said.
The first quarter passenger numbers for 2022 are up almost 140% from the same period in 2021 and represent a 15.7% increase from the previous quarter of 2021, Dubai Airports said in a press release.
According to the Airports Council International, air traffic plunged during the pandemic, but Dubai International Airport was known as the busiest airport for international passengers in 2020 and 2021.
The airport had 29.1 million passengers in 2021 and 25.9 million in 2020. Griffiths said he is expecting traffic to hit 58.3 million passengers this year, still a far cry from numbers before the pandemic, when the airport saw 86.4 million customers came through in 2019.
Dubai Airports, owned by the city’s government, manages Dubai International and Dubai World Central Airports in the United Arab Emirates.
Travelers wait with their luggage at the check-in counter at Dubai International Airport on February 21, 2022. Passenger traffic at Dubai international airport remains “nowhere near pre-pandemic levels” despite rising to 29.1 million passengers in the previous year and will not recover to pre-Covid levels before 2024 CEO told AFP on February 22. On Tuesday, the figures announced that up 12.7 percent from 2020, which means that Dubai remains the busiest airport in the world for the eighth consecutive year
“Some of the visitors to Dubai are helping boost our point-to-point traffic numbers to more than 100% of pre-Covid levels,” he said.
The press release said that the recovery in the transit market has been slower and stands at around 60% of 2019 levels.
He also said that some markets, like those in Southeast Asia and Australasia, closed their borders for a period but are starting to reopen now.
“So hopefully in May, we will see rebounds in the Chinese travel market, which can strengthen 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.