Dubai International’s Terminal 1 and Concourse D welcomed their first passengers on Thursday morning for 15 months with the arrival of Flynas flight XY201 from the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
Linked to Terminal 1 by an airport train, the $1.2 billion Concourse D, opened in February 2016 as the home terminal of DXB’s 65 plus international carriers.
Opening up is crucial for Dubai International Airport, the busiest regional hub for international traffic before the pandemic, as it relies heavily on connecting passengers around the globe
The reopening of the facility will see the phased return of these carriers over the next few days from Terminals 2 and 3, as the hub prepares for an anticipated increase in traffic during the summer holidays and beyond, a statement said.
It added that the facility provides services for more than 18 million passengers annually.
The facilities were closed on March 25, 2020 following the partial suspension of operations at DXB as part of the measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
Opening up is crucial for Dubai International Airport, the busiest regional hub for international traffic before the pandemic, as it relies heavily on connecting passengers around the globe.
The opening came just hours before ministers in the UK are due to update the traffic light system for global travel amid pleas for more countries to join the quarantine-free green list.
The UAE remains on the UK’s red-list, along with the rest of the Gulf countries, much to the consternation of regional business and travel leaders.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports said prior to the re-opening: “Dubai’s aviation sector has been at the forefront of a global campaign to restore vital international air services with the opening of quarantine-free travel corridors between the UAE and multiple countries around the world.
“This move signals our confidence that the outlook for the rest of the year and beyond is one of optimism, as well as being a clear indication of Dubai’s intent to lead the aviation industry in its efforts to enable social and economic recovery of the world.
“This reopening is a collaborative effort of the many stakeholders involved in the operation of the world’s largest international airport and we are delighted to be able to make this important step towards the restoration of full airport operations.”
Emirates is also ramping up operations to accommodate demand over the summer. The carrier will have recovered about 90 percent of its pre-pandemic network by the end of July, it said in a statement last week.