Umair Shaikh, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Dubai Airport CEO Expects More Countries To Drop COVID Testing Soon

LONDON – The head of one of the world’s busiest airports, Dubai Airport, said on February 22 that he is expecting that many more countries will drop the rules for vaccinated people to stop testing soon.

The UK, for example, has already scrapped the testing rule for the vaccinated people, while the Gulf state Bahrain has said that from this month, the vaccinated people are no longer required to test themselves upon arrival.

“I do expect across the world, the testing regime for travel will start to disappear pretty quickly and we’re hopeful that there will be an announcement over the next few weeks from many different places,” chief executive Paul Griffiths said.

“The whole idea of having to have tests for travel will give way to vaccination certificates.”

Griffith hasn’t mentioned when the UAE will stop requiring tests on arrival.

Dubai airport is forecasting passenger traffic to more than double this year to 57 million from 29.1 million in 2021.

That is still far below the 86.4 million passengers the airport handled in 2019, the year before the pandemic struck.

Griffiths said bookings for the next three months were among the strongest the airport had ever seen and the 57-million target for this year could end up proving conservative.

“The outlook for the future now is particularly good.”

Dubai will also reopen its second airport, Al Maktoum International, in May to schedule, commercial passenger flights for the first time since the pandemic began, Griffiths said.

Al Maktoum will handle some passenger flights that typically operate from Dubai International during refurbishment works at the main hub that will close one of its two runways for 45 days.

Airlines that operated out of the second airport before the pandemic will continue to operate flights thereafter the 45 days, Griffiths said. 

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