Thursday, 27 October 2016

UAE: Al Maktoum International Airport To Become New Home For Emirates

Dubai's Emirates airline will move its base from Dubai International Airport (DXB) to Al Maktoum International airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) by 2025, a top government official said.

Located in the south of Dubai near Jebel Ali, DWC is the emirate's second airport and opened to passenger traffic in October 2013. It is served by around 17 passenger airlines and 34 cargo operators.

Dubai's Flydubai is also moving to the emirate's second airport next year. Al Maktoum International airport is part of Dubai World Central (DWC), which will be the world's largest airport once completed.

Emirates airline will move its operations to Dubai World Central in 2025, Dubai Aviation City Corporation executive chairman Khalifa Al Zaffin said at the Dubai Investment Forum in Dubai on Tuesday.

"Maktoum International Airport is being developed to cater to the future aviation and logistics needs of Dubai. There is no doubt that the new airport will play an increasingly important role in the long-term. Emirates has not officially announced any dates for the shift of operations but we are aiming to move by the middle of the next decade," an Emirates spokesperson told Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

Capacity at DWC is set to increase to around 25 million passengers a year by the end of 2017 when flydubai moves there, up from five million today. The next stage of expansion will be to increase capacity to 120 million passengers a year ahead of Emirates' planned move.

Flydubai's move to DWC next year will benefit Emirates airline in terms of more space as the Dubai International Airport is facing some congestion and delays in departure. Dubai International is the world's busiest airport for international passengers.

Since October last year, flydubai split its operations between DWC and Dubai International.

Passenger traffic at Al Maktoum International almost doubled in the first half of 2016, mainly due to the launch of flydubai services there in late 2015, according to the airport operator Dubai Airports.