Business | Aviation

More airlines to be announced for Al Maktoum International airport

Dubai Airports CEO convinced more airlines will fly from Al Maktoum before year end

  • By Alexander Cornwell, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 16:59 October 27, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • By 2020, the Al Maktoum International Airport will have up to four passenger terminals with an annual passenger capacity of 160 million.

Dubai: More airlines are expected to join the three launch carriers at Al Maktoum International before the end of 2013, a Dubai Airports executive has said.

Speaking to Gulf News at the opening of Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports Chief Executive Officer, said he was “convinced” there would be announcements on new airlines flying from the airport before the end of the year. “We are very close to signing some deals with more carriers,” he said.

Dubai’s newest airport and future super aviation hub opened on Sunday with the inaugural passenger flight operated by Hungarian based Wizz Air. Griffiths labelled the opening as a “historic moment” for Dubai and its aviation industry.

Al Maktoum has been opened for freight traffic since June 2010 but only on Sunday did it commence passenger flights. Griffiths said with the first phase of opening the passenger terminal completed the next step will be to expand existing facilities to “cope with incremental traffic growth.”

“Of course the big push will be coming when we start to build more runways and passenger terminals,” he said.

Dubai Airports have targeted operating Al Maktoum as a hub within the next five to 10 years.

Griffiths said there “is plenty of room to expand and create what we believe will be the worlds largest airport by considerable margin.”

The new airport is part of the greater Dubai World Central development and is conveniently located close to Jebel Ali Free Zone and Jebel Ali Port. Griffiths said the proximity to the free zone and port is incredibly important to the freight operators.

“Being able to take bonded freight from Jebel Ali port into the airport and fly it away and vice versa has been a very vital part of the development of freight and logistics at this airport,” he said.

For the time being the new airport is set to be treated as a satellite terminal of Dubai International with only a new hundred staff needed to ensure operations at Al Maktoum International run smoothly.

“What we have done is invest in systems so that we don’t have to duplicate a lot of the functions we have at Dubai International. So all the flight management systems are run from Dubai International and so we treat this a bit like a satellite terminal at the moment,” Griffiths said.

Earlier speaking a representative from National Airlines asked Griffiths if the authorities or Dubai Airports planned to offer any immigration incentives to passengers flying into Al Maktoum and travelling onwards to Dubai International. Griffiths said at present passengers would need to pass through customs at Al Maktoum and Dubai International but that the process could be reviewed if there was sufficient demand.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 15:17 October 28, 2013

    This is a good move, but the airport is in the middle of the desert. There is no public transportation from Abu Dhabi to there, even from Dubai there is nothing to drop you there other than taxi. The cost to reach airport from Abu Dhabi is more that the cost of my air ticket with Wizzair. Unless there is good connection to the airport by bus/metro/etc it makes sense to me to pay little more for tickets to fly from Dubai Terminal 1.

    Liza, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:11 October 28, 2013

    The vision of the rulers of this country is to be saluted! As one of the emerging cities of the world, the development that takes place here, and the growing tourism into this part of the world, an airport of this kind is really a futuristic move. I am sure very soon more airlines will move into this terminal. It is true that it is a way from the heart of the city and I am sure, necessary transport facilities will be added to connect the city with minimum travel inconvenience to the passengers. Congratulations and look forward to fly in and out of this airport soon!

    Hanif Kalmata, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 12:11 October 28, 2013

    Great News about opening of AlMaktoum airport for passenger traffic. MUCH MORE required is connectivity between the new airport to the CITY is a must for passengers to use the new airport. The best is metro extension link between the new airport to Jebel Ali metro station or to Ibn Battuta metro station. Good Luck With Best Wishes to the visionary leaders of DUBAI & UAE

    SYED J.HUQ, DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:29 October 28, 2013

    I hope Emirates will not go from Dubai Airport.

    Noushad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 10:18 October 28, 2013

    this is a very good move..specially for the people who are living this side of dubai..many had started travelling via ettihad..now that market can be tapped by emirates..!

    ali, dubai, United Arab Emirates

Gulf News
Business Editor's choice
Quick Access

  1. Markets

  2. Economy

  3. Property

  4. Aviation

Business Top Stories

  1. Air Arabia’s RAK operations to start in May

  2. Yahoo’s turnaround is a work in progress

  3. A free-for-all to connect with Arab viewers

  4. Surging rents in Sharjah 'slackening': report

  5. Expo 2020 to bring solid economic dividends