27 June 2010

Growth in UAE and EK in particular starts to worry some.

Today (June 27th) the world’s newest airport opens. Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International. Last week Dubai World had its first test flight. An Emirates 777 Freighter conducted the first flight of a commercial type operation into the new facility.

The statistics are staggering:

Phase 1 of the airport will feature one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year.

When completed, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo.

In the short term Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will increase the airport capacity of Dubai to accommodate the 48% increase in cargo volumes from 1.9 million to the 3 million tonnes anticipated by 2015.

In the long term it will serve as a multi-modal logistics hub for 12 million tonnes of freight and a global gateway for the 150 million passengers per annum that are expected to pass through Dubai by 2030.

So now you know how EK is going to support the ground portion of that nice fat order of planes becomes obvious.

But don’t expect things to be smooth sailing. A number of airlines are getting restless and so too are their governments. If EK starts to capture significant traffic then we can expect governments to also get involved. Already we are hearing noises from the French. The new UK government should be paying a lot of attention to their actions. With the 3rd runway cancelled at LHR, the 2nd runways at LGW and STN non-starters for a long while, that just means the UK’s loss will be Dubai’s gain.


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