Dubai Airports CEO says advanced discussions underway; announcement due soon
Advanced talks are taking place between Dubai Airports and several airlines about starting passengers services at the emirate's second airport, it has been reported.
The airport authority may make an announcement on operators in coming weeks, said Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths in comments published by Bloomberg.
Dubai World Central will have room for 80 million passengers by 2027 and eventually grow to 160 million, more than double capacity at London Heathrow, Europe's busiest hub.
Passenger flows through Dubai's main airport - Dubai International - climbed 14.6 percent in January compared with the same month in 2012.
Traffic rose to 5.56m passengers from 4.85m a year ago. During the full year 2012, passenger flows increased 13.2 percent to 57.68m people.
Last year, Dubai International overtook Hong Kong to become the world's third busiest airport for international passenger traffic, according to data from the airports.
Griffiths told Bloomberg that the Dubai government is still weighing whether it makes more sense to accelerate a move from Dubai International to Dubai World, or to let it happen more slowly.
“We’re looking at alternatives now, and in a few months we’ll have a clear position,” he said. “One plan is to build up quickly, within a 12-year frame. The other calls for longer, incremental growth over 15 years.”
Dubai World Central handled 219,092 tonnes of air freight during its second full calendar year of operations, an increase of 144 percent over 2011.
In 2012 Dubai World Central's average monthly air cargo volumes totalled 18,258 tonnes compared to 7,477 tonnes recorded during the airport's first full year of operations.
During 2012, more than 30 airlines operated into Dubai World Central, predominantly as cargo charter operations. Of these 15 were scheduled services.