Airport show opens with increasing participation



Dubai Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, inaugurated the 10th edition of the Airport Show yesterday.

The show saw a 7 per cent increase in the number of exhibitors to 223 compared with 210 in 2009.

This year, many more suppliers have gathered in hopes of winning contracts for regional airport development.

Thirty-four countries are participating in the event, which occupies a gross exhibition space of 10,508 square metres.

Airport developments include the $33 billion (Dh121.1 billion) Al Maktoum International Airport and surrounding projects in Jebel Ali, a Dh40 billion expansion of King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah and Qatar with a similar investment in New Doha International Airport. Oman will invest Dh11 billion in six new airports and Kuwait will spend Dh8 billion on its international airport.

The three-day exhibition will showcase the latest technologies and advances in the airport industry worldwide, and host industry professionals who will share their expertise on enhancing the operational efficiency of airports under construction or renovation.

Ara Fernezian, group exhibition director at Reed Exhibitions Middle East, the organisers of the event, said that the robust participation of key industry players in the Airport Show 2010 reflects the growing international interest in the industry.

“The number of high-profile airport officials attending the event has grown 41 per cent over last year while the number of Hosted Buyers has gone up 42 per cent,” he said.

Emirates said yesterday that it continues to look for creative solutions to help passengers across its network complete their journeys following the volcanic ash disruption.

In addition to deploying extra services on a number of routes, the airline is maximising its fleet and getting thousands more passengers to their destinations by adding an extra stop on certain routes.

Between April 26 and 29 inclusive, Emirates flight EK347 from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai will be re-routed via Bangkok, picking up passengers and easing the operational backlog in the Thai capital.

Emirates has advised that passengers travelling to and from the UK and Europe via Dubai, who held bookings for travel during the disruption, are now being accepted, provided they hold confirmed bookings on their new flights.

All passengers are advised to check the status of their flights before leaving for the airport on Passengers are asked not to go to the airport unless they have a confirmed seat on a flight. Online check-in is suspended until 0800 GMT tomorrow for all Emirates flights.

Emirates customers affected by the disruption can cancel their bookings or change their destinations without charge. All re-issue and cancellation fees will be waived while the disruption is ongoing.

Richard Vaughan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: “We are continually assessing every option available as we strive to resume normal service across the network. Re-routing the Kuala Lumpur flight for four days will be a great boost to operations in Bangkok, which also benefited from two extra flights from Dubai yesterday.”

— Staff Report