Emirates says it is experiencing one of its busiest-ever summer travel seasons and has already carried 14 million passengers between June and August, with seat load factors (a measure of how many seats per aircraft are occupied) running at an impressive 80% across its services.
And so far, at least, the Dubai-based airline says it doesn’t see any sign that the rising cost of living and economic uncertainty is causing people to put off their travel plans.
“Travel demand across our network has been strong and resilient despite rising cost-of-living pressures in many markets,” commented Emirates’ chief commercial officer Adnan Kazim on Wednesday.
“It shows the value that people place on travel – whether for work, play, study, or visiting loved ones; and how essential international air connectivity is to communities.”
Travel booking trends for the months ahead show unabated demand, and Emirates says even demand for ‘Destination Dubai’ has remained strong over the hot summer months when the emirate usually sees a dip in visitor numbers.
So far this year, Dubai has already welcomed 8.5 million international visitors – more than a million more than last year, and Emirates says it is already gearing up for another spike in visitors over the winter period.
Dubai International Airport (DXB) said on Tuesday that passenger numbers in the first half of the year had surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2019, and the airport expects record-breaking passenger numbers during the winter season.
The airport operator has adjusted its forecast for annual passenger numbers from 83.6 million passengers to 85 million, which would be just 1.6% shy of DXB’s annual traffic in 2019, according to chief executive Paul Griffiths.
Griffiths said India remained the airport’s number one destination, followed by Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Other leading countries for visitors included Russia, with 1.3 million passengers passing through the airport, unencumbered by Western sanctions.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.