UAE air traffic soars 200 percent since April

Published: 29 October 2020 - 4:30 a.m.
By: Josh Corder
The negative impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the UAE’s aviation industry is “gradually fading away”, according to a senior official at the GCAA, who said the recovery was in part due to the efforts made by authorities to limit the virus’ effects.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of GCAA, told the Emirates News Agency that the launch of two new national carriers during the crisis “represents [the industry’s] success”.

The regulator said there are currently around 1,000 aircraft overflying the UAE every day, which is an increase in air traffic of more than 200 percent compared to April.

The UAE went into lockdown at the end of March and suspended scheduled international flights as part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

A gradual recovery has seen the resumption of international flights and measures to boost confidence among travellers, including declaring Dubai open to tourists.

Dubai recently updated its entry rules, stating that tourists coming from the UK and Germany now have the option of taking a Covid-19 PCR test on arrival instead of presenting a negative test certificate before their departure.

The UAE’s aviation sector appears to be one of the more resilient in the region. Its latest national carrier, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, will begin operations in the coming weeks, following on from Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, which began flights in July.

Al Suwaidi said: “The government's implementation of practical solutions and stringent precautionary measures that allow the safe operation of flights has allowed the industry to recover as quickly as it did while limiting the spread of the virus.”

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