Dubai International Airport’s (DXB) passenger traffic has dipped during the first three months of the year owing to global lockdowns and restrictions on air travel, media reports said. It is reported that a total of 17.8 million passengers passed through the DXB gates during the period between January and March 2020.
The numbers show a decrease of 19.8 percent compared to the previous year. Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths, said in a statement, “The Covid-19 pandemic is of a very different nature than any previous crisis in that it has affected supply, demand and health security and by extension, the entire global economy. We’re dealing with a monster here for which we clearly have to find a solution. Until there is a proven level of confidence medically that people can travel without fear of spreading or contracting the virus, the situation we find ourselves in is likely to continue.”
Recently, the UAE airlines Emirates and Etihad announced the resumption of flight cancellations to select destinations as countries are slowly easing their respective lockdowns. According to Brian Pearce, chief economist of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), “Critically, we need to see [first] a reduction in COVID-19 risks, the risk of countries importing COVID-19. And so, we either need to have a vaccine, reliable tests, or the widespread acceptance of layered measures that IATA and others are proposing [before we can see a recovery].”
IATA data pointed out that aviation and tourism account for 13 percent of the UAE’s GDP. It seems that aircraft movements dropped 18.7 percent year-on-year from 95,857 to 77,920 in the beginning of February, media reports said.