Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific welcomes the restoration of connectivity to Qatar. The border
reopening, initially with Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates, will reestablish vital and much-needed
connectivity within the Middle East and help the restart and recovery of the aviation sector post-pandemic.
“The Middle East has suffered tremendously in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, reporting a loss both in terms of
passenger traffic and revenues above 70% compared to the pre-COVID estimates. Restoring regional airspace and airport
connectivity is an important step in the recovery of the airport sector and aviation as a whole. It will also support
the growth trajectory of the Middle East for the future on a global level,” said Stefano Baronci, Director General, ACI
According to the latest ACI World Air Traffic Forecasts (WATF), the total passenger volume in the Middle East will reach
around 1.2 billion by 2040, representing an almost threefold increase from the 405 million passengers pre-COVID-19 in
“A policy roadmap at regional level focused on testing as a replacement for quarantine measures for connecting countries
with lower or equivalent risks would be a further boost to the global ambitions of the region,” concluded Baronci.