This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Private aviation traffic at Dubai’s World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport has experienced a strong rebound since July, according to the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA). Despite the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, aircraft movements during the third quarter at the VIP terminal in the airport’s Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) saw double-digit growth, bringing them to 93 percent of the total from third-quarter 2019. After an initial plunge in April, the numbers began climbing until they surpassed the previous year’s total over the summer months.
With the UAE easing travel restrictions, the sector saw increases in usage from medical and business-related travel from high-net-worth passengers and holiday trips. The VIP terminal houses three FBOs and has onsite PCR Covid testing facilities, which have enhanced air traffic through the facility. Aviation-related activities currently represent more than a quarter of Dubai’s GDP.
“By analyzing the numbers, it's reassuring to see the return of private jet travel given the circumstance we are all experiencing,” said MBRAH CEO Tahnoon Saif. “Dubai has always been a business and vacation destination for the world and measures taken by the UAE government as a whole, and the VIP terminal at [MBRAH] in specific, have only reinforced the commitment to the sector, cushioning VIP traveler movement and reinforcing visits to Dubai, as well as outbound international trips.”