Dubai Airports has outlined the measures it will implement as a part of its post-Covid-19 recovery plan.
Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths announced that the airport is aiming to control costs, optimise liquidity, operate cargo and repatriation flights, as well as prepare to restart operations at Dubai International (DXB).
He added that the timing and speed of air traffic recovery will depend on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine or treatment.
Griffiths said: “The Covid-19 pandemic is of a very different nature than any previous crisis in that it has affected supply, demand and health security and by extension the entire global economy.
“We’re dealing with a monster here for which we clearly have to find a solution. Until there is a proven level of confidence medically that people can travel without fear of spreading or contracting the virus, the situation we find ourselves in is likely to continue.”
Due to Covid-19, DXB reported a reduction of 19.8% of passenger traffic in the first quarter of 2020, with a total of 17.8 million passengers.
The reduction is attributed to the reduced demand and flight operations, due to the suspension of passenger services by the UAE and other countries.
He added: “With millions across the world in lockdown and eager for a change of scenery or to visit friends and relatives, travel has become one of the most desirable commodities. However, the current inability to safely travel is diminishing that demand.”
Dubai Airports must aim to restore customer confidence in travel by ensuring it implements social distancing and conducts thermal screening and Covid-19 testing.
The airport operator also said that it will carry out stringent deep-cleaning and sanitisation, which will help to ease passengers’ concerns.
It is currently not possible to accurately forecast when air services will be resumed and how long it will take the aviation industry to revert to its pre-Covid-19 levels, the airport said.
Griffiths added: “We’re looking at an 18 month to two-year time frame but that is highly dependent upon the development of an effective treatment or vaccine and the establishment of bilateral arrangements between countries.
“So, while we can’t predict how quickly or when this will happen, I am optimistic that the innate demand when people realise it is once again safe to travel will be huge. There will come a point where the world will open up again and the desire to travel will be even stronger than it has been in the past and Dubai Airports and the entire aviation community will be ready.”