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Dubai airport’s passenger traffic reaches pre-pandemic levels

Air travel in the UAE has returned to normal after the industry suffered major losses due to virus-related travel restrictions.
Dubai airport

Dubai International Airport released its quarterly passenger traffic data Thursday. 

The airport served 13.6 million passengers in the first quarter of 2022. This constituted a more than 15% increase from the 11.8 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2021. This figure is also more than double the 5.7 million passengers in the first quarter of 2021 and constitutes the airport’s biggest quarter since 2020, Dubai International airport said in a press release. 

On the other hand, the amount of cargo the airport received decreased 15.5% to 519,555 tons in the first quarter of 2022 from 614,834 tons in the previous quarter. 

The following were the airport’s top country destinations: 

  • India, 1.6 million passengers

  • Saudi Arabia, 1.1 million passengers 

  • Pakistan, 997,000 passengers 

  • The United Kingdom, 934,000 passengers

The top cities in terms of passenger numbers were as follows: 

  • London, 617,000 passengers 

  • Riyadh, 517,000 passengers 

  • Jeddah, 337,000 passengers 

  • Istanbul, 324,000 passengers 

Why it matters: The figures are another example of the air travel industry in the United Arab Emirates recovering from the COVID-19 downturn. Abu Dhabi Airports also reported yesterday that its passenger traffic has returned to pre-pandemic levels. 

Airlines in the UAE took major hits due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions, with Dubai’s Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad both suffering major losses. Emirati officials stopped passenger flights completely for several weeks in 2020, and travel remained restricted to varying degrees well into 2021.