Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

Dubai Airport Now Expects Full Recovery a Year Earlier — By 2023

6 months ago

Dubai International Airport expects passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023, a year earlier than its CEO Paul Griffiths’ prediction of hoping to regain pre-Covid traffic levels by 2024.

As air travel gets back to normal, Dubai Airport witnessed a half-yearly traffic of 27.9 million passengers this year, just 1.2 million shy of its total annual traffic last year.

Based on the strong first half, the airport has readjusted its annual forecast for 2022 to 62.4 million passengers, compared to its earlier estimate of 58.3 million.

The airport managed to hit 27.9 million for the first six months of 2022 despite a significant reduction in capacity following a 45-day shutdown of its northern runway in May-June for maintenance.

India was the top destination country for Dubai Airport with traffic for the first half reaching 4 million passengers. Saudi Arabia came in second with 2 million passengers, while United Kingdom came a close third with 1.9 million passengers.

Calling the airport’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19 spectacular, CEO Griffiths said, “We knew at the start of the pandemic that the dramatic downturn would be followed by an equally dramatic upturn, so we were well prepared for it and using all of the business data at our disposal were able to predict the start of the recovery.”

Speaking to the media, Griffiths also mentioned that Dubai has a lot to gain from the Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup in Qatar this year — the first to be held in the Middle East.

Qatar Airways had earlier said that fellow Gulf Arab airlines would be operating daily shuttle flights to Qatar during the world cup, which would help ease pressure on Doha, which has been struggling with limited accommodation facilities for the world cup, and allow neighbouring Gulf states to benefit from the event.

Tourism

UK Government Not Clear if Covid Travel Restrictions Worth $585 Million Worked

6 months ago

Despite spending around $585 million on implementing its traffic light system as part of its wider response to manage travel during the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government does not know whether the system worked or whether the cost was worth the disruption caused, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Commons.

The government introduced health measures at the border from 2020 and implemented controls in four main phases, and from early 2021 operated a new “traffic light system” that broadly remained in place, with modifications, until March 2022. The traffic light system placed countries on red, amber or green lists, with more restrictions applying for travel from red-list countries and fewer for green.

The report released on Tuesday stated that while the government did not track spending on implementing health measures, the National Audit Office estimated that the government spent $585 million on the traffic light system in 2021–22.

The government also did not strike the right balance between its reliance on the travel industry to implement travel controls and the support it provided.

“Carriers were legally responsible for checking that everyone travelling to the UK had submitted a Passenger Locator Form recording their contact information and recent travel history. This imposed extra costs on carriers in a period where their revenue had fallen dramatically,” the report stated.

Although the government provided access to up to $9.6 billion of financial support during the pandemic, this was mostly general support from the furlough scheme. It did not provide any additional financial support to carriers to implement the travel controls it introduced.

Despite government’s reliance on carriers, it sometimes did not provide carriers with sufficient notice ahead of public statements that travel rules were changing. People travelling found the rules difficult
to understand, and 40 percent of them did not know the rules on self-isolation, according to the report.

While the National Audit Office noted that changes at short notice in the fast-moving environment of the pandemic was inevitable, but the processes for communicating these changes to those responsible for implementing them, in advance of a public announcement, were not timely.

“The government is not learning lessons fast enough from the pandemic and is missing opportunities to react quickly to future emergencies… In the longer term, health measures may be needed to deal with new variants of Covid-19 or other diseases such as monkeypox, so government needs to ensure it is able to respond quickly,” stated the report.

Filters

Tags

air-traffic

Clear Filters