Airlines get incentives to move to new Al Maktoum airport

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By Nadia Saleem, Staff Reporter  www.gulfnews.com

Dubai: Dubai Airports is in talks with cargo airlines to relocate to the new Al Maktoum International Airport, which will be able to handle 250,000 tonnes of cargo when it begins operations in late June.

    *  Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths (left) shares a laugh with Strategy and Development Senior Vice-President Jamal Al Hai on the first day of the Arabian Travel Market at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.     * Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News
* Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths (left) shares a laugh with Strategy and Development Senior Vice-President Jamal Al Hai on the first day of the Arabian Travel Market at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. * Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon/Gulf News

Dubai Airports said it would offer subsidised rates and financial incentives to attract cargo and passenger airlines to Maktoum International Airport. “To encourage people to go there you have to give them a real reason to move,” said Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths yesterday at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

Dubai Airports is the management company fo Dubai International Airport (DIA).

Griffiths said the plan was being discussed, but no airlines have signed up to relocate.

Cargo operations will be the first to start operating from the new $33 billion (Dh121 billion) Dubai World Central project that comprises the airport and the Logistics City where some companies are already based.

Passenger services are expected to begin once the passenger terminal buildings are finished — scheduled for the end of the year.

Griffiths said the airport would be able to handle five million passengers annually in its first phase, but the beginning would not be a “bang opening”. He said airlines would see a “gradual migration” and the existing airport’s largest airline, Dubai’s Emirates, would not move for the next 10-15 years.

Meanwhile, to maximise the capacity of the existing airport, the company is building a new concourse that will be ready by the end of next year.

Concourse 3 will be linked to Terminal 3 via a railway that is already in place, Griffiths said.

The airport’s third concourse will be completed before the “gradual migration” of airlines to the new airport.

Dubai Airports said freight volume is expected to surge 48 per cent to more than 3 million tonnes by 2015.

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