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UAE most air-connected in Middle East: ACI

UAE most air-connected in Middle East: ACI
23 May 2024 09:41

RASHA TUBEILEH (ABU DHABI)

The Airports Council International (ACI) has revealed that the UAE leads Middle Eastern countries in airspace liberalisation within the aviation sector, showing remarkable growth in air connectivity, according to the Asia Pacific and Middle East Air Connectivity Index 2023 released on Wednesday.

Developed in partnership with PwC, the index provides a consumer-focused approach that considers consumer choices, air connectivity quality, number of flights, seat capacity, and number of destinations. It covers a sample of 300 airports, representing about 93% of combined passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

Dubai leads the region in transport traffic and air connectivity, bolstered by major airlines headquartered there with extensive global networks. The ACI explained that air transport liberalisation has enhanced trade, tourism, and overall economic growth through improved accessibility and air connectivity.

The index for the first quarter of 2024 shows that airports in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions improved direct air connectivity by an average of 59% compared to the same period in 2023. By the third quarter of 2024, these airports are expected to increase seat capacity by an average of 10% compared to the first quarter of 2024.

During 2024, direct flights to and from China are expected to see the highest increase, benefiting major markets in the Asia-Pacific region. In the Middle East, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai will continue to expand their capacity to various destinations.

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