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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: The UAE’s airports are expected to receive 135 million passengers in 2024, a 4 percent surge in traffic over the previous 12 months, according to a top civil aviation executive.
Speaking to the local newspaper Emarat Al Youm, Saif Al-Suwaidi, the director general of the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority, said current indicators show a growth in the number of flights and destinations of its national carriers.
Al-Suwaidi added that the rise is set to come from countries such as Canada, South Korea, and the Philippines, as well as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
This increase aligns with several air transport agreements concluded by the authority and improvements it has made during the current year, the newspaper reported Al-Suwaidi as saying.
Additionally, the sealed deals are projected to lead to an increase in the air transport rights of Emirati carriers, resulting in a rise in their flights, seat capacities, and destinations they reach next year, he highlighted.
Moreover, Al-Suwaidi continued that increasing passenger numbers, seat capacity and destinations of national carriers will surge the revenues of various entities operating in the aviation sector.
The GCAA executive also noted that air traffic at the country’s airports during the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, or COP28, witnessed a 15 percent jump, the Emirates News Agency, also known as WAM, reported.
On Nov. 30, the UAE airports witnessed the highest rate of air traffic in civil aviation history, with 2,848 movements, Al-Suwaidi disclosed.
He added that Al Maktoum International Airport recorded the largest number of scheduled and unscheduled flights on the first day of COP28.
The executive noted that the aviation sector has achieved significant success in organizing air traffic and ensuring the smooth and safe arrival and departure of all COP28 guests.
Furthermore, a special electronic platform was launched to control air traffic and closely monitor flights coming to the country to attend the conference, which aided air traffic control in the country.
According to data available from figures, UAE airports received 62.8 million passengers during the first half of this year, recording a growth of 46 percent compared to the same period last year.
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