Dubai: Dubai International airport, which is being expanded to handle 90 million passengers a year, could be shut to boost traffic at a new super-hub under construction in the emirate with as much as twice that capacity.
Dubai Airports won’t retain the existing base if owning two hubs hampers the take up of flights at its new Al Maktoum site, and could find ‘alternative purposes’ for the prime real estate, chief executive Paul Griffiths said.
The airport authority is accelerating construction of Al Maktoum in a push to persuade main customer Emirates to move in before 2025, and could lift capacity to 200 million passengers a year to boost its appeal, Griffiths said.
Talks are underway with at least three more prospective customers for the facility, which opens this month and has so far attracted only Hungarian discount carrier Wizz Air as a firm client, he said.
“What we’re trying to work out right away is whether there’ll be an impact on capacity at Dubai International if we continue to operate two airfields,” Griffiths said. “We might end up with a situation where two give you less capacity than if you concentrate all your operations on a single airport. If that turns out to be the case, clearly we won’t be operating two.”
Al Maktoum airport, named after the emirate’s former ruler and located at the Dubai World Central aviation complex south of its main urban area, will commence passenger trials on October 12 and is scheduled to open to traffic on October 27, the chief executive said in an interview. More info