Asia’s Air Travel Revolution



This week Afshin Molavi looks at the air travel revolution reshaping Asia, and also explores why Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan is claiming Dubai as his own city. Molavi speaks with Max Hirsh, a professor at the University of Hong Kong and author of the book Airport Urbanism: Infrastructure and Mobility in Asia. Hirsh argues that the unprecedented airport buildup across East Asia has helped spur an air travel revolution that is reshaping economies and societies across the region. A globally renowned airports expert, Hirsh also tells us about his favorite airports. Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood megastar, considers Dubai International Airport among his favorite airports. In a viral ad seen on YouTube nearly 10m times, Khan invites people to “be my guest” in “my Dubai.” Molavi unpacks the meaning of that ad, notes Dubai’s role as the Hong Kong of South Asia, and explores an oft-told joke: What is the best city in India? The answer: Dubai.


Cover image: ake1150sb/iStock