Connections to Riyadh, London, Jeddah, Bahrain and Cairo all feature in top 10 busiest international air routes in NovemberLN

The re-emergence of Dubai as a global aviation hub from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was confirmed this month as the emirate featured in five of the top 10 busiest international air routes.

According to latest data from aviation analysts OAG, Dubai International Airport is again dominating international travel as markets continue to reopen.

Dubai features in five of the world’s busiest routes so far in November, connecting the emirate to Riyadh, London Heathrow, Jeddah, Bahrain and Cairo.

OAG said Dubai to Riyadh is the world’s busiest international route with 242,446 seats, followed by the connection to Heathrow (226,496). Also in the top 10 are Dubai connections to Jeddah (182,794), Bahrain (147,828) and Cairo (135,534).

The November figures build on the recovery seen to the end of October when passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport (DXB) grew by almost 20 percent in the last four weeks to reach 20.7 million in the year to date.

The airport said it is expecting this surge towards the recovery of the industry to continue during the final quarter of 2021.

OAG data also showed that Dubai retained its position as the busiest international airport this month, ahead of London Heathrow and Amsterdam.

The recovery also follows a decision by the UK Government to accept UAE vaccination certificates from October 4, effectively opening up two-way travel between the countries.

Previously in early August, after 188 days, the UAE was finally removed from the UK’s travel Red List, boosting tourism between the countries.

Last month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicted that Middle East carriers will see a very limited improvement in their financial performance from a $6.8 billion loss in 2021 to a $4.6 billion loss in 2022 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact.

It said that without large domestic markets, the region’s major carriers rely significantly on connecting traffic, especially to Asia-Pacific which has been slow to re-open to international traffic.

Globally, IATA said net industry losses are expected to reduce to $11.6 billion in 2022 after a $51.8 billion loss in 2021. Net 2020 loss estimates have been revised to $137.7 billion (from $126.4 billion). Adding these up, total industry losses in 2020-2022 are expected to reach $201 billion.

Demand is expected to stand at 40 percent of 2019 levels for 2021, rising to 61 percent in 2022, IATA added.

Total passenger numbers are expected to reach 2.3 billion in 2021. This will grow to 3.4 billion in 2022 which is similar to 2014 levels and significantly below the 4.5 billion travellers of 2019.

Source : Arabian Business