By Andy Sambidge www.arabianbusiness.com
Air traffic movements in the UAE grew by 7.6 percent in February compared to the same month last year, according to new figures released by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Tuesday.
Dubai ranked first with 23,459 air traffic movements with flights passing over the country ranking second with 10,835, the GCAA said.
Abu Dhabi ranked third with 7,665 air traffic movements while the new Al Maktoum International Airport witnessed 102 shipping movements.
The GCAA report also showed that the UAE initiated air transport agreements with Djibouti and Albania, and signed memoranda of understanding with Djibouti, Albania and Algeria, while holding consultations with Djibouti, Albania, Iraq and Bangladesh.
Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) upgraded its airline industry outlook for the Middle East in 2011 despite a global downgrade.
Middle East carriers are expected to return a profit of $700 million, considerably better than the $400 million previously forecast, but down from the $1.1 billion profit that the region posted in 2010.
Last month, IATA said passenger traffic into the UAE will hit 82.3m over the next three years, driven by a Middle East-wide rise in air travellers of 9.4 percent.
The Middle East is expected be the fastest growing region, with the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan ranking among the 10 quickest growing countries for international traffic.