Saturday 31 October 2020 - 2:06:41 am

WAM Report: UAE’s civil aviation sector shows capacity to overcome challenges imposed by COVID-19


ABU DHABI, 5th October, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE’s civil aviation sector has shown a significant capacity to overcome the unprecedented challenges imposed by the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic and turn them into incentives, in implementation of the directives of the UAE’s leadership to continue the country’s humanitarian and relief efforts to support the world’s communities in facing the virus.

On the occasion of the UAE Civil Aviation Day on 5th October and in celebration of the arrival of the first aircraft in the country in 1932 at Al Mahatta Airport, Sharjah, the aviation sector has played a significant role in delivering Emirati humanitarian aid during the coronavirus crisis.

The sector manages the operations of six carriers, including Wizz Air and Al Arabiya Abu Dhabi, and has helped deliver Emirati humanitarian aid around the world, in light of the exceptional global conditions while undertaking preventive measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of all employees, passengers and partners.

The sector has implemented several precautionary and preventive measures to counter COVID-19, in coordination with all relevant national authorities, and has adopted advanced technologies in the country’s airports, including sanitising gates, touchless elevators, self-sanitising escalators, thermal cameras, and Polymerase chain reaction, PCR, tests The aviation sector has intensified its efforts to evacuate Emirati citizens who were abroad during the peak of the crisis, as well as the citizens of friendly countries, to ensure their safe return.

The UAE has also supported many countries affected by the pandemic by sending aid on national carriers, benefitting over 118 countries with tonnes of relief and medical aid.

At the end of 2019, the sector witnessed significant development having 8,656 pilots, 37,694 flight attendants and 4,321 engineers, in addition to 189 aircraft maintenance companies, 17 specialised medical centres and 47 training and consultancy centres.

The UAE has the largest fleet of registered Boeing 777 aircraft in the world totalling 881 at the end of 2019. It also has 27 airline licences, 105 air cargo companies and three licenced air navigation firms.

The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Global Aviation Award, the largest award to honour the leaders of the civil aviation sector in the world, was also launched, with prizes amounting to US$1 million.

The General Civil Aviation Authority signed 12 agreements related to aerial connectivity, as well as seven initial agreements and nine Memorandums of Understanding, MoU, to hold aerial transport talks with 23 countries.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/MOHD AAMIR