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Improvements to UAE Airspace Are Essential to Its Future



If the United Arab Emirates is to remain a leading global aviation hub it will need to prioritize increasing airspace capacity.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) regional vice president for the Middle East, Muhammad Ali Albakri, said in a recently released statement that sufficient airspace capacity, infrastructure investments and new technology will be critical to the country’s future.

“Over the past 25 years, the UAE has experienced an economic transformation; aviation has been at the heart of this evolution,” said Albakri. “To maintain the country’s competitiveness as a leading global aviation hub, sufficient airspace capacity to meet demand, infrastructure investments aligned to growth and rapid implementation of new technology are essential.”

Air transport supports 800,000 jobs and contributes $47.4 billion to the UAE economy, which represents about 13.3 percent of the nation’s GDP, according to IATA.

Pursuing a positive agenda for aviation could see that rise to an additional 620,000 jobs and $80 million in GDP by 2037, according to a recent IATA study.

The same report claimed that airspace capacity’s failure to keep pace with demand growth is causing significant delays in the region.

Beautiful Dubai city. (photo via Anna_Om/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

airlines/iata-reveals-airlines-carried-44-billion-passengers-in-2018.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>IATA called on states to “replace political fragmentation with collaborative cross-border decision-making” to ensure that the global competitiveness of hubs in the Middle East is not affected.

Investment in infrastructure, guided by new technologies and innovative processes, in particular, will increase efficiency and improve passenger experience throughout the region, IATA said.

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IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023



Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.

Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.

IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.

The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.

In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.

Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”

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