The size of investments in the UAE’s civil aviation sector is more than approximately Dh1 trillion. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Passenger numbers at UAE airports increased by 56.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said on Tuesday.

The country’s airports welcomed as many as 31,862,635 passengers in the first three months, an increase of more than 11.48 million passengers from the same period in 2022, when about 20,381,324 passengers were recorded.

The GCAA Director-General emphasised that the UAE civil aviation sector has managed to restore pre-pandemic passenger traffic levels. He explained that the numbers recorded in the first quarter confirm global confidence in the country’s civil aviation sector and its ability to recover and achieve growth.

He also expressed his expectations for the continued growth of air traffic in the UAE’s airports this year.

Furthermore, Al Suwaidi stated that the national airlines’ number of destinations reached about 536, including joint destinations.

He further added that the size of investments in the UAE’s civil aviation sector was more than approximately Dh1 trillion, while the size of investments in the development and expansion of airports reached Dh85 billion to accommodate over 300 million passengers annually.

He noted that the aviation sector in the country contributes about 14 per cent of the gross domestic product, while in major countries, the aviation sector’s contribution does not exceed 2-3 per cent.