17 May 2021
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According to Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai Airport, the world busiest airport by international passengers’ traffic, the solution to restart mass foreign travel is the implementation of Covid-19 passport for all passengers.
Covid-19 disease has brought the world upside down, paralysing every sector of activities including the flying industry. Paul Griffiths told the BBC that the solution to restart mass international travel will pass through vaccination. “I don’t think there is an alternative,” said the Chief Executive of Dubai Airport, even lauding the document as “inevitable”.
Although many are willing to implement the vaccine passport, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Travel and Tourism Council are opposing the proposition outlining a discrimination that would lead to a “two-tier society whereby only certain groups are able to fully enjoy their rights”.
Notwithstanding the crisis observed in the aviation industry globally, the Dubai Airport remains the world’s busiest international passenger airport for the 7th consecutive year. The Airport that represents 21% of the employment in Dubai overtook London Heathrow in 2014.
“Despite the ongoing challenges to air travel as the world continues to battle against the impact of the global pandemic, as an important hub, Dubai International Airport will continue to play its role of enabling mobility and connectivity and contribute to the much needed social and economic recovery globally,” Paul Griffiths confidently assured.
— Dubai Airports (@DubaiAirports) May 16, 2021
According to the CEO, the Dubai Hub saw 86.3 million people in 2019, but as the coronavirus pandemic restrictions grounded flights, that number fell by 70% bringing it to 25.8 million in 2020.
To get through this, the DXB Management is willing to take the risk. “We need to get into risk management rather than risk avoidance,” Paul Griffiths argued.
He further said “I just don’t think the world can survive without that mobility for much longer, certainly socially and economically, but you can understand why countries around the world are being very conservative. The last thing any politician wants is a surge of infection on their turf.”
While different vaccine passport systems are being put in place by the European Union, the Group of 20 (G20), The International Air Transport Association and the African Union, Paul Griffiths assured “Whatever the system, we will adapt our processes to ensure that our passengers aren’t put in huge long queues.”
Dubai International Airport plays a crucial role in the City’s economic success contributing to 35 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
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