Passenger traffic at two of the UAE’s major airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is expected to surge as the mid-term school break, as well as Expo 2020, spurs many to book flights.
UAE-based long haul operator Emirates said on Thursday that outgoing and incoming passengers passing through Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport could swell to 190,000 just this weekend, with Friday set to be the busiest.
Tens of thousands more travellers have also booked to fly into the country starting today until October 28, with Emirates expecting 430,000 more people arriving on its flights during the two-week period.
“Many make their way for holidays in Dubai, and for Expo 2020,” Emirates said in a statement.
The airline did not say the total volume of passengers that have booked to travel in and out of Dubai for the two-week period, but a source said the total figure could be “far higher than 500,000.”
In a separate statement, Etihad said it is also expecting passenger numbers to increase because of the school break. “Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi International Airport are ready to welcome a large volume of passengers over the half-term break,” the airline said.
Both carriers have advised departing customers to allow plenty of time for check-in and immigration procedures at the airport, to avoid any delays during the travel rush.
“Customers are reminded to check the latest travel requirements and entry rules to their booked destination to ensure quick document verification and check-in and arrive at the airport at least four hours before their flight departure to avoid any delays,” Emirates said.
“Emirates also encourages customers to build extra time in their journey to avoid congestion while making their way into Terminal 3."
Air travel has mostly been subdued since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in 2020. International passenger demand last year was 75.6 percent below the levels seen in 2019, making 2020 the worst year in history for air travel, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
In July 2021, both international and domestic travel demand showed significant momentum compared to the previous month but were still far below pre-pandemic levels.
(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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