Dubai International Airport is set to take over London’s Heathrow Airport as the busiest in the world by 2015, said Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group.
In a statement at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Walsh said that the UAE’s tax-free system has facilitated the aviation industry boom, reported UAE based Gulf News on Thursday.
He noted that Gulf airlines are among the most advanced in the world.
“Gulf airlines are the most progressive at the international level: Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways for example, as they benefit from the tax free systems to improve their performance and to expand further,” stated Walsh.
“Taxes in the UK inhibit the ability to use our revenues to achieve progress in our aviation industry,” he complained. The taxes paid to the UK government do not feed into travel industry or go towards environmental solutions, added Walsh.
The CEO stressed that there will be tough worldwide competition in the global aviation market in the near future as well as an increase in demand regarding international travel.
“In five years, a new type of aviation market will be introduced and it will be different from what we know now. And in 20 years from now, it will be unrecognizable,” Walsh said.
Dubai International Airport has been reported to be the fastest growing in the world, as measured by annual growth in seat capacity, according to statistics from OAG, the aviation intelligence company.
An additional 757,000 seats are available this April compared to the same time last year.
The figures also show that the aviation hub has boasted increased capacity, by 12 percent per annum, since 2004.