Are UAE Airlines Starting to Recover From the Pandemic?

Published July 12th, 2021 - 07:45 GMT
UAE airport
Emirates Airlines flights have been down by 58% since the spring of 2020. (Shutterstock: Belikova Oksana)

Thanks to vaccines, the world is slowly starting to be on track to restoring life activities as it used to be before the pandemic. Yet, new variants emerging in different parts of the world are still threatening the positive outlook for the rest of the year.

Amongst the sectors hit the worst since the COVID19 outbreak is travel and tourism. Since the world has agreed to impose movement restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the dangerous coronavirus, travel activity has plunged to historic lows, particularly air travel.

During the first months of the global crisis, most world countries announced borders and airports closures, halting domestic and international travels for months. Even when travel was resumed, PCR tests and quarantine requirements had a major impact on peoples' turnout to non-essential travel plans. 

Only after vaccination rollouts across the world that has only started earlier this year has the world seen an improvement in the number of travelers. Airlines are slowly seeing higher numbers of travelers and tourism activity is growing carefully.

Despite a grim financial situation for most airlines, the future does indeed look a little brighter. Reporting more than $5.5 billion in losses between April 2020 and March 2021, the CEO of Dubai-based Emirates Airlines told AP that new variants are still troubling the travel industry.

According to Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the airlines often regarded as the biggest MENA carrier has seen its activity decline by 58% over the last several months. However, travelers are slowly and carefully resuming plans during the summer of 2021. This July, the UAE's Al Khaleej newspaper is expecting Dubai's airport to see about 2 million travelers, as Emirates Airlines continues its flights to more than 124 destinations.

While Etihad Airways is resuming flights to 65 global destinations, Fly Dubai is flying people from the UAE to 85 cities around the world. Moreover, Air Arabia's flights will reach about 100 cities, besides 29 destinations reached by Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, which has added 15 new cities to its itineraries this summer.

Even though the travel industry is yet to make considerable profit post COVID19, the gradual increase in the number of travelers and flights to and from the UAE point at a healthy start, which can pave the way for a full recovery, as long as no new variants are reported around the world.

Do you have any travel plans this summer? How can airlines achieve a faster financial rebound post the coronavirus?


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