The Gulf emirate of Dubai on Sunday opened passenger operations at its second airport, Al-Maktoum International, touted to be the world’s largest once it is completed.
Jazeera Airways, another low-cost carrier, will follow suit on Thursday with daily flights to and from Kuwait, while Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, will begin operations on December 8
No other airlines have announced intentions to use the new airport, which lies some 50 kilometres south of Dubai International, one of the world’s busiest hubs for air passengers.
Paul Griffiths, chief executive officer of Dubai Airports, was confident that other companies would follow “in the coming months”.
He pointed out that 36 cargo carriers currently operate out of the new airport, compared to only two in 2010.
Dubai International handled 57 million passengers in 2012, as it has become a major stop for air traffic between the West, Asia and Australasia.
Al-Maktoum International was opened only for cargo in June 2010, while passenger operations were repeatedly delayed.
The new airport is situated in Dubai World Central, an economic zone the government hopes to turn into what it calls an “aerotropolis”.
Once completed, it is to feature five runways that will be able to handle an annual capacity of 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo. More info