At the start of the summer season, Beirut International Airport (BIA) is experiencing a flurry of activity akin to what was seen before the crisis that hit Lebanon more than two years ago. Currently, we are starting to see a noticeable surge of travelers, with between 11,000 and 12,000 people entering the nation every day, according to Fadi Al-Hassan, Director General of Civil Aviation at BIA.
Al -Hassan revealed that “the number of travelers arriving in Lebanon is nearing its peak and will continue to rise during July and August.” He noted that the number of passengers will approach one million during the summer.
On the eve of Eid al-Adha, the number of daily passengers passing through Beirut International Airport approached 30,000, including more than 19,000 arrivals to Lebanon. This is despite the fact that the majority of them are Lebanese citizens living in various countries around the world.
Lebanese living abroad have the advantage of bringing in more stable currency into the country. Many Lebanese are being priced out of summer activities due to currency depreciation.
According to Lebanon’s official National News Agency, the number of passengers crossing the airport increased during the first half of this year, recording 2,568,797 passengers, compared to 1,444,502 passengers during the previous year. This is an increase of 77.83 percent compared to the same period in 2021, and an upsurge of 113 percent compared to 2020. However, it’s a decline of about 35 percent from what it was in the first half of 2019 (before the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world) when the total number of passengers reached over 4 million.
From the beginning of this year until the end of June, the total number of passengers to and from Lebanon was 2,568,797 (an increase of 77.83 percent from 2021), while the number of arrivals to Lebanon increased by 78.15 percent to 1,306 thousand and 266 passengers. The number of departures increased by 78.93 percent, with one million, 258 thousand, 171 passengers recorded. Meanwhile, the number of transit passengers fell by 46.45 percent to 4,360.
The total number of domestic, Arab, and international flights that used Beirut International Airport in the first half of this year was 22,501. (compared to 15,033 flights in the first half of 2021, an increase of 49.67 percent). The number of flights arriving in Lebanon increased by 49.68 percent to 11,253. The number of flights departing Lebanon increased by 49.67 percent, totaling 11,248 flights.
It is worth noting that the total number of travelers passing through the airport in June reached 580,787. (compared to 394,220 passengers in June 2021, an increase of 47.32 percent, and 837,853 passengers in June 2019, a decrease of 30.68 percent).
Moreover, the number of passengers at the airport increased by 44.91 percent in the first week of July compared to the same period last year, reaching 183,352 passengers.