Dubai Airports chief views 2021 with 'cautious optimism'

14 Dec 2020 10:46 AM
Image: Collected
The principle of Dubai AIRPORT TERMINAL (DXB), the world's busiest hub for international travel prior to the Covid-19 crisis, said he views 2021 with "cautious optimism" as countries roll out vaccines and economies rebound.

"We are ready and prepared to expect a surge popular once the vaccines commence to roll out in virtually any meaningful scale," Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports, told Bloomberg TV on Monday. "Four billion people around the community have been around in lockdown over the last 8 to 9 months, that’s fifty percent of the populace, and one of the most aspirational stuff that everyone really wants to make contact with is freedom of activity."

Global pharmaceutical companies including Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca have achieved key breakthroughs in developing a vaccine for the treating coronavirus in new weeks with an efficacy rate greater than 90 per cent. Shots against Covid-19 are set to get started this month in the US, where in fact the number of deaths is normally approaching the 300,000 mark, as the UK started vaccinations the other day.

Asked if he sees a scenario where Covid-19 vaccines would be mandatory for travellers to get into Dubai, the veteran airport executive explained the inoculation wouldn't normally be a need to fly in to the emirate.

"It would be an enormous economic negative to recommend that a good vaccine and to have already been inoculated against Covid-19 is a good precursor to travel so I can't look at that being a necessity," he said. "We have got so many practical measures, including PCR evaluating on arrival, to ensure travel is safe enough for everybody to consider going for a journey, therefore in my view that would be ... unnecessary."

The aviation industry has opposed the vaccination requirement for passengers, fearing that a blanket rule could hamper flights in a similar way to quarantine measures.

Mr Griffiths' optimism for a good recovery in flights was also buoyed by the achievement of the UK-Dubai air travel bubble set up in regards to a month ago.

"We’re extremely confident that we’re going to get back to about 30 % of our common throughput during the month of December, which is probably likely to be about double what we experienced through the prior months," he said.

Dubai is defined for an "incredibly busy" holidays as a result of the agreement between your two governments, he said.

DXB has resumed serving 57 % of the places it operated earlier found in the entire year across 82 per cent of the countries, he said. Some 65 % of the airlines that were flying initially of 2020 are actually back in Dubai airport.

The hub is finding your way through an "austere" 2021, but is put to sustain liquidity around a traffic basic that's less than 30 % of pre-Covid levels, he said.

"We're now ready where we can if the storm going forward," Mr Griffiths said.

"What's not certain is definitely what the speed and shape of this recovery will be, but we stand prepared to be able to take advantage as it pertains," he said.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi blueprints to lift many coronavirus restrictions within a fortnight and the emirate will resume “all economic, tourism, cultural and entertainment actions” within that period.

Before this week, the UAE announced ideas to double by 2030 the gross annual Dh41.2 billion ($11.2bn) allocated to domestic tourism and motivate staycations.

Aviation and tourism are actually central to Dubai, and the UAE, as an integral pillar in its monetary diversification strategy.