x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Emirates' flight industry hits two-year high

The rise of long-haul and budget airlines in the UAE has helped the Emirates' flight industry reach a two-year high according to latest figures.

The aviation industry of the UAE has soared to a two-year high, new figures have revealed.
The aviation industry of the UAE has soared to a two-year high, new figures have revealed.

The UAE's aviation sector continued to grow last month with an average of 1,888 flights aircraft flights taking place each day, reaching a two year high, the federal General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said in its latest report.

The movements represent an increase of 6.9 per cent compared with the same period one year before. In total, there were 56,654 take-offs, landings and overflights in the UAE, underscoring the country's status as having one of the busiest airspaces in the region.

The growth is largely due to the rise of the UAE's long-haul and budget airlines, and complicated by the fact that more than half of the country's airspace is restricted to commercial traffic by the military.

The GCAA's report shows that Dubai was the largest source of air traffic, with 25,363 movements. The second largest contributor were foreign airlines performing over-flights, at 11,938 flights. Abu Dhabi ranked third, with 8,293 movements.

Traffic in and out of Sharjah, Al Ain, Ras al Khaimah, and Fujairah, as well as traffic between local airports, made up the rest of the activity.

The newest airport in the UAE, Al Maktoum International Airport in Jebel Ali, was home to 133 air cargo flights, the report said.

In terms of safety, it said the agency issued eight infrastructure safety violation tickets, and conducted 28 inspections and audits with operators.

The UAE is taking on greater role in global aviation bodies, the GCAA said, with Capt Aysha al Hamili, the UAE's permanent representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council, recently elected as vice chairman of the council for next year and 2011.

The election of Capt al Hamili "highlights the active role played by the UAE in specialised technical committees, efforts aimed at strengthening ties in the field of civil aviation between the UAE and many countries and successful representation of Arab interests at ICAO," said Saif Mohammad al Suwaidi, the director general of the GCAA.

igale@thenational.ae