Passenger alert: Book tickets and leave early as UAE sees its busiest summer travel period in 2 years

Airlines, airports issue travel advisories as traffic is expected to peak during school holidays, Eid break


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 2:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 24 Jun 2022, 12:02 AM

The UAE will see the busiest summer travel season this year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, as leisure travel traffic will also be at an all-time high.

With almost all the travel restrictions such as PCR tests, quarantines and prior approval of the immigration authorities removed, the travel sector has bounced immensely. UAE residents are increasingly opting to fly to their home countries and holiday destinations without worrying about being stranded abroad.

UAE airlines and airports have issued travel advisories to passengers this week. Travellers have been urged to book tickets in advance to avoid the disappointment of not getting desired flight dates as tickets are selling out fast ahead of the Eid Al Adha holiday and school summer break – when many residents travel abroad.

On Thursday, Dubai Airports issued a passenger advisory about 'exceptionally busy' traffic over the next two weeks at Dubai International (DXB).

Around 2.4 million passengers are expected to pass through DXB between June 24 and July 4, with average daily traffic reaching 214,000 passengers. Traffic is expected to peak on July 2 and the Eid Al Adha weekend of July 8-9 when daily traffic will exceed 235,000 passengers.

As a result of strong recovery, annual traffic at DXB is projected to more than double from 29.1 million in 2021 to 58.7 million passengers this year.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways on Thursday said it would receive large volumes of passengers between June 30 and July 15 2022, expanding its self-service bag drop facilities at Abu Dhabi International Airport to provide a faster check-in of travellers.

"With the removal of many travel restrictions, Etihad is expecting the number of travellers to soar for the summer holidays," said John Wright, vice-president for network, airports and cargo operations, Etihad Airways.

Budget carrier flydubai also announced that it would receive three million passengers over the busiest summer in the airline's history with an average of 8,500 departures per month scheduled across its network of 102 destinations, which exceeds pre-pandemic levels.

"While global aviation sector has been slowly recovering from the repercussions of the pandemic, we have seen Dubai steadfast in its approach to enabling the return to free flows of trade and tourism," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai.

Flydubai has scheduled an average of 8,500 departures per month across its network from July to September this year to meet growing demand.

Leisure traffic all-time high

Emirates airline also announced that it's preparing for its busiest period yet, with over 550,000 customers flying out from the UAE between June and July on over 2,400 flights per week.

"Daily booking volumes are accelerating as summer holidays draw closer, and Emirates is urging customers who haven't planned their holidays or made travel arrangements to get ahead and book now to ensure they are able to travel on their preferred dates and flights," Dubai's flagship carrier said.

Emirates said leisure travel traffic from the UAE will also be at an all-time high, with scores of travellers, mainly families and couples, making their way to Bangkok, Istanbul, Vienna, Zurich, Nice, Phuket, Singapore, Oslo, Kuala Lumpur, Brisbane and the west coast of the US for extended summer holidays as more countries continue open up for tourism and drop their entry restrictions.


Book now or face disappointment

As a result of summer travel peaking in UAE, airfares to popular destinations have jumped over 50 per cent in the last few weeks and like to rise by another 80 per cent in the weeks ahead.

Travel industry executives estimate that airfares from Dubai to India's major cities could touch Dh4,000 in July-August from Dh2,200 in June, while tickets to London are likely to cost Dh7,000 in July-August from Dh5,000 in this month.

Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, advised passengers to book their seats as early as possible because demand is growing fast.

"The earlier, the better because seats are limited, and demand is outstripping supply. Demand has reached an almost pre-pandemic level, but supply has not reached that level yet. So book it now because any further delays mean a bigger hole in the travellers' pocket," added Adnani.

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