New Dubai airport to open on 27 June


By David Kaminski-Morrow

Al-Maktoum International airport will open at the end of June, although it will initially handle only freight operations.

Postponement of the opening from last year led the city-state’s new low-cost carrier FlyDubai – which had planned to use Al-Maktoum – to begin services from Dubai International airport instead. No date has been fixed for passenger services to start at the new hub.

Dubai’s main carrier, Emirates, has also confirmed that it is unlikely to transfer to Al-Maktoum within the next decade – and possibly not until 2022 at the earliest – because the current hub will be able to support its operation for several years to come.

Al-Maktoum International airport is part of the vast $32 billion Dubai World Central business project. The first phase of the airport will include a single runway and a passenger terminal with capacity for 5 million, plus a 92m (302ft) control tower.

Once complete it will have up to four passenger terminals capable of dealing with 160 million passengers, plus five runways and cargo facilities with capacity for 12 million tonnes of freight.