UAE air traffic growth rate expected to slow down in 2009
The volume of air traffic through the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the Middle East's key transport hubs, will continue to grow in 2009, although the rate of growth is expected to slow down, a civil aviation official said on Thursday, dpa reported.
Saif Mohamed al-Suwaidi, the Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said that the number of flights in 2008 had increased by around 10.3 per cent compared to 2007, reaching 489,000 flights.
"However, we expect growth will slow down to be around 2.4 per cent in the coming year, with around 501,000 flights," al-Suwaidi told reporters.
Air traffic in the UAE has increased by 100 per cent over the past 11 years due to the growth of tourism and aviation sectors in both the Middle East and Asia. However,a slowdown is now expected due to the global financial crisis.
The highest growth rate for UAE air traffic was in 2004, reaching 16.68 per cent.
"This year, our total revenue was 221 million UAE dirhams (around 60 million dollars) and net profit reached 85.3 million dirhams," al-Suwaidi said.