Jebel Ali airport to open in 2009

The Al Maktoum International airport will cater to seven million passengers annually. (SUPPLIED)

Dubai's new airport, Al Maktoum International, coming up at Dubai World Central development in Jebel Ali, will launch its operations next year with a passenger terminal common for all airline types and not just low-cost carriers, as announced earlier, according to a top executive. "Due to be operational in the third quarter of 2009, the first passenger terminal at Al Maktoum International airport will cater to all airlines – budget included," Khalifa S Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai World Central, told Emirates Business.

"There is no such thing as a dedicated low cost terminal. The plan is to take all operators of Dubai International airport's Terminal 2 to the Al Maktoum International airport. So we have built something similar to Terminal 2 but not a dedicated low-cost terminal," he said.

Without divulging the names and number of airlines that will start flying from the new airport initially, Al Zaffin said low-cost carriers would be allowed to operate from there for sure, along with all other airlines.

"The terminal coming up at Al Maktoum International airport will cater to seven million passengers annually and take the load off Dubai Airport. It is comparable to Dubai airport's Terminal 2 – for regular airlines as well as budget carriers," he said.

Confirming the same, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, told Emirates Business: "There is a new terminal being built at Al Maktoum International airport, which is a separate entity from the main development. It is expected to carry seven million passengers but not specifically designed for low-cost carriers. International and other regional carriers will also operate from there."


Dubai Airport show

With a record line-up of more than 600 suppliers from 40 countries, and more than 6,000 visitors expected, the Dubai Airport Show, to be held from June2 to 4, has grown by 12 per cent this year in line with $68bn aviation boom in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, according to the organisers Streamline Marketing Group.