Stock - Sheikh Ahmed at Airshow press conference
The response to this year's airshow is a testament to the importance international companies place on the industry event, Sheikh Ahmed said Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is set to return to full operational capacity by next week, and both Emirates and DXB will return to pre-COVID levels of activity in the next 12 months, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, said on Tuesday.

Sheikh Ahmed also commended the Dubai Airshow for making major strides since its inception in 1989 to develop into one of the world’s most prominent aviation and aerospace events.

Dubai Airshow’s ability to bring together 1,200 exhibitors, including 370 new ones, representing 148 countries, this year is a testament to the importance international companies place on the mega industry event, he said. Companies in the sector are looking to the Dubai Airshow as an event that can help chart a new course for the industry following the pandemic, he added.

Sheikh Ahmed said the event offers an opportunity for the industry to explore new partnerships and alliances, and expressed optimism that the event will promote new advancements that can further enhance excellence and efficiency in the global industry, and enable companies to regain their growth momentum.

Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates will announce a number of deals related to aircraft and revamp of customer services during the airshow as part of the company’s strategy to constantly raise quality standards. The company’s performance is linked to the further reopening of key destinations and the easing of travel restrictions across the world, Sheikh Ahmed said. Stressing that international cooperation is critical for the global aviation sector to return to pre-pandemic levels, he said discussions are ongoing with authorities in various destinations worldwide to resume normal flight schedules.

Speaking about the UAE aviation industry and the outlook for Dubai airports, Sheikh Ahmed said DXB is set to return to full operational capacity by next week, with the reopening of Concourse A, in a development that will provide a positive impetus to the aviation sector in the country.

He also said Dubai authorities are working to restore the high passenger numbers before the pandemic, which saw DXB handling 90 million international passengers annually, making it one of the world’s busiest international airports.

Sheikh Ahmed also commended Emirates SkyCargo for using its cargo transportation capabilities from both DXB and Al Maktoum Airport over the last two years to deliver aid supplies to many countries to help them combat the pandemic. He said Emirates played a leading role in using its logistics infrastructure to transport vaccines, medical supplies and equipment around the world during the crisis.