Local budget carrier flydubai could very well be one of the first few passenger airlines to make way to the new Dubai World Central airport in Jebel Ali, as Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths revealed that discussions are ongoing for the same.
However, he added that they are also in discussion with other carriers and whichever airline is ready to move first will be welcomed as the airport readies for passenger arrivals by 2013 as the facility readies by year-end.
Speaking at the ongoing Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Griffiths said: “Flydubai could be an anchor airline at Dubai World Central, but it could also be another UAE airline, or one outside the country. We are talking to several other carriers and as 2013 approaches, the intensity of the conversations have increased. If an airline steps forward then we will be happy to hopefully welcome them by 2013.”
When probed further, Griffiths added: “Looking at flydubai’s current growth, it is undoubtedly the case that Terminal 2 will be unable to accommodate its operations at a later stage. Dubai International will clearly be the place for flydubai then.
“However, there won’t be a wholesale move, but a part of the operations would shift to DWC. But there is no timeframe set for that.”
He reaffirmed that Emirates is likely to relocate operations to DWC between 2025 and 2027.
Retail hub for passengers
As Dubai Airport continues with its 2020 forecast of 98.5 million passengers, based on its 15.5 per cent annual growth since 1960, the body is investing heavily in Concourses 3 and 4, along with expanding Terminal 2 to create a world class retail hub for passengers.
Concourse 3, which is being purpose-built for A380s, should be completed by year-end said Griffiths, adding that it would open by Q1 2013.
Meanwhile, Terminal 2 expansion should be take place by 2013, which would see a capacity increase from 7m passengers to 12m, while concourse 4 should be developed by 2015.
Griffiths added that by 2020, Dubai Airports should create 123,000 new jobs by 2020, employing 22 per cent of the local work force and add 32% to the emirate’s GDP.