Dubai airport leads global aviation rebound

STORY: Dubai International handled 13.6 million passengers in the January-March period, more than double the 5.7 million in the same period last year.

Chief Executive Paul Griffiths predicts the Gulf hub could see pre-COVID figures by the end of 2024.

"Well, obviously it's very encouraging to see almost 16% growth over the last quarter with traffic at 13.6 million in Q1. That's very encouraging indeed. Obviously, we've still got a way to go to get back to our pre-COVID numbers but with the current rate of progress we have just increased our forecast for the year to 58.3 million passengers somewhat shy of the 89 million we had in 2018. But it does signal that we can be more optimistic about the future and hope to regain pre-covid levels maybe as early as 2024."

"The direct traffic to and from Dubai and the transfer markets and of course markets in Asia, particularly China, are very big markets for us and of course the strategy for reopening the country post covid is not yet clear. So I think we have to be a little bit cautious about the rate of recovery particularly of the transfer market but overall we are pretty bullish and I think, I don't want to over promise and under deliver, so that's why we're saying by the end of the year we think we will be at about that 58 million mark."

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