An influx of passengers is expected at UAE airports over the Eid break, with a core of travellers from within the GCC supplemented by others flying further afield.
“The UAE widely enjoys international stature as a go-to place for retail and other shopping activities, and Eid Al Fitr provides a great gateway for GCC and international travellers to come and spend money,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research.
“It’s likely that there will be a very sharp spike in traffic through Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as Dubai World Central.”
The government has granted public sector workers in the UAE five days off for Eid. Similar breaks are in effect across the GCC states.
A spokesman for Dubai International Airport, which hosts 180,000 travellers on an average day, said it expects the coming weekend to be “one of the busiest to date.”
The airport has hired extra staff for the job.
The spokesman said this past weekend represented a peak for outbound traffic, and the coming weekend should bring an inbound peak.
The budget carrier flydubai forecasts a busy period ahead, with am emphatic increase in the number of passengers from within the GCC.
“Eid Al Fitr is a popular time of year for our passengers. We are witnessing an increase in passenger numbers both inbound and outbound across our network,” said a flydubai spokesman.
For the summer as a whole, Abu Dhabi International Airport expects a 15 to 20 per cent increase in traffic, compared with last summer. The airport is home to 18 per cent more flights than a year ago.
"Etihad Airways' flights out of Abu Dhabi will be extremely busy in the coming weeks, with UAE residents and those from across the GCC looking to take a short break," said Hareb Al Muhairy, the airline's vice president for the UAE.
“Some of the most popular destinations include London, Istanbul, Paris and Munich in Europe, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington DC in the US, as well as Medina and Jeddah due to high demand on Umrah flights,” he said.
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