Bus Airport show
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group take a tour after opening the Airport Show Hybrid at Dubai World Trade Centre. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, opened the 20th edition of the Airport Show on Monday.

The three-day exhibition at Dubai World Trade Centre’s (DWTC) Halls 7 and 8 features more than 95 exhibitors from 21 countries, 100-plus 'hosted buyers' from over 20 countries, and 36 exhibitors at five country pavilions by Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France and the UK.

“The aviation industry has a history of successfully bouncing back from crises and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different,” said Sheikh Ahmed. “The overwhelming response to the Airport Show is an indication of the aviation world’s strong confidence in Dubai and its global efforts.”

Decision-makers from major airports in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia have come to the Show in search of exploring and acquiring the newest products and services for their facilities for enhancing and safer passenger facilitation. The Airport Show 2021 has three co-located events: Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), Airport Security Middle East, Air Traffic Control (ATC) Forum along with and the Women in Aviation (WIA) General Assembly.

Thani Alzaffin, Group CEO, Emaratech, said: “There have been strong positive signs of recovery all over the world. Hopefully, 2021 will be a better year for the aviation/airport industry. The new standard for services at the airport will be seamless and contactless.”

Emerging travel trends

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects a 50 per cent improvement in global 'passenger kilometres' with the number of fliers growing to 2.8 billion with the opening of borders by mid-2021, an increase of 1 billion passengers compared to 2020.

IATA, which represents 290 airlines accounting for over 82 per cent of global air traffic, says people have not lost their desire to travel, and that travel has returned to near-normal levels in places where restrictions have been removed. It was earlier expected that the Arabian Gulf airports would handle 450 million passengers annually once travel returns to previous levels.