By Daniel Shane
Airline becomes first to formally declare it will move services to Dubai World Central during runway maintenance at Dubai International
Malaysia Airlines has become the first carrier to publicly announce that it will temporarily move all of its flights to Al Maktoum international Airport when runway maintenance cuts capacity at Dubai International later this year.
Works are set to commence at Dubai International, the emirate’s primary aviation hub, on May 1 and will last until July 29.
A number of airlines have already said that they will move some of their flights to the Dubai World Central facility, which only opened to commercial passenger flights last year, including budget carrier flydubai and Royal Brunei.
Nur Shaffik Harris, Malaysia Airlines’ general manager for the UAE and the Gulf, said that the carrier had no long-term plans for the new airport and would move back to Dubai International once works were completed.
Dubai's flagship airline Emirates is expected to move all of its operations to Al Maktoum International Airport sometime after 2020.
Big international carriers, including Emirates, have so far not indicated any plans to move to the new airport, which officially launched passenger services in October last year.
Al Maktoum can currently handle up to 7 million passengers a year and is being expanded to eventually accommodate over 160 million. Dubai International's current capacity is 75 million and passenger traffic has been growing at double-digit rates because of booming tourism and trade.
Only a handful of carriers currently operate from Al Maktoum, including European budget carrier Wizz Air and Kuwait's Jazeera Airways.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.