Dubai: Dubai Airports’ commercial revenues rose 16 per cent on year in the first half of 2012, boosted by a surge in passenger traffic, according to the company’s top executive.
“We are ahead of the budget in terms of revenues, which are exceeding expectations,” Paul Griffiths, the chief executive at Dubai Airports, told reporters late Sunday, but declined to give further details.
Dubai Airports, which runs both Dubai International and Dubai World Central, or DWC, has seen soaring international traffic over the last few years, helped by the rapid growth of Emirates airline, as the emirate consolidates its position as a key global transport hub in the Middle East.
Dubai Airports last month said passenger traffic at the international airport increased 13.7 per cent in the first six months of the year, the busiest first half in its history, putting it on track to meet its annual target of 56.5 million passengers.
Griffiths said Dubai International “will be running out of capacity soon... and we are already seeing congestion, so moving to DWC would be an option for airliners.”
Some 22 cargo companies operate from DWC, the emirate’s new under-construction airport near Jebel Ali, handling over 10,000 tonnes per month. It is likely to open for passengers next year.
Dubai Airports are in negotiations with “international and regional airliners” on their possible move to DWC, Griffiths said, but noted that no contracts have been signed yet. “We will not force airliners to move to DWC,” he said.
Dubai Airports has announced a $7.8 billion airport expansion program which will boost capacity at Dubai International from 60 million to 90 million passengers per year by 2018.
It raised $1.75 billion via a six-year syndicated loan in July through Dubai Duty Free, the state-owned company that operates tax-free shops at Dubai International.
Griffiths said there’s “no immediate need and no pressure,” when it comes to raising the money.
“All options are on the table when it comes to how the money would be raised, but it is up to Dubai’s Finance Department to decide on the means of raising the money to finance airport expansions,” he added.
“We will be meeting with the finance department to finalise 2013 finances... and we will announce it by second week of September,” Griffiths said.