Visitors to Dubai through the Dubai International Airport (DXB) has exceeded pre-Covid levels, according to the Chief Executive of Dubai Airports, Paul Griffiths.
In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, Griffiths said on a point-to-point basis, visitors to Dubai through the airport was at 111 percent of what they were pre-Covid. Speaking on Quest Means Business live from Expo 2020 Dubai, Griffiths also predicted that Covid testing at airports will end in the near future.
“I think the thing is, once the testing regime becomes history, which I think it will do shortly, what we believe is going to happen is there will be a very strong recovery. And we need governments to stop interfering with the common-sense health regulations that are now emerging in the wake of the response to the latest strains of the virus,” he said.
On the recovery of the aviation industry and how Dubai is handling the next stage of the pandemic, Griffiths said: “I think the pessimism of the uncertainty that we’ve been facing has to give way to the opportunistic, and optimism of recovery that we’re going to follow, and the good thing is, we never really shut anything down. We put things into hibernation, but we maintained a full state of readiness in order to be able to springboard back into the real world when traffic starts to recover. And we’ve seen that, we’ve seen 40 percent growth over a six-week period just before the Christmas peak,” he said.
On whether he expects those numbers to remain, the CEO said: “The good thing is, having built confidence in Dubai as a destination, the actual multiplier effects of the origin and destination traffic to the economy is hugely valuable, but now what’s happened because of that attractiveness, when the transfer markets come back, we will be in an incredibly strong position to resume our pre-eminence with the sixth freedom as well as this point-to-point market.”