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Dubai airport traffic jumps 50%, tops pre-pandemic levels

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Passenger traffic at Dubai international airport leapt 50 percent in the first half of the year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, its operator said on Tuesday.

Dubai, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers before Covid-19, had 41.6 million visits in the six months to June, just over the number recorded in the first half of 2019, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

The passenger figure also marks a 50 percent increase from the 27.9 million seen in the same period last year.

“As we recover with our (first-half) traffic surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we continue to remain committed to ensuring every guest who travels through our airport leaves with a smile,” said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

Passenger forecasts for the year have been raised to 85 million, up from 83.6 million.

“Dubai Airports is optimistic about the levels of demand and is expecting record-breaking numbers during the winter season,” the company said in a statement.

“We’re preparing for an exceptionally busy rest of the year.”

Dubai airport closed briefly to commercial flights from March to July 2020 but was one of the first travel hubs to reopen after the pandemic.

In 2020, it received only 25.9 million passengers, down from the 86 million the previous year.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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