Low-fare carriers Wizz Air Ltd. and Nasair will be the first airlines to fly passengers into Dubai World Central, the emirates second airport, Dubai Airports said.
Dubai World Central, due to start passenger services from Oct. 27, will gradually take all passenger traffic from Dubai International which is running out of space. The new airport, which is closer to the city center than Dubai International, will have room for 80 million passengers by 2027 with eventual capacity for 160 million, more than double the size of London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest hub. Nasair is the first low-cost carrier in Saudi Arabia. Budapest-based Wizz Air started flights in May 2004.
“The introduction of passenger services from Dubai World Central is the first step in the long term development of the airport,” Dubai Airports Chief Executive Officer Paul Griffiths said today in an e-mailed statement.
Dubai’s rulers have sought to exploit the sheikdom’s geographic position at the heart of intercontinental flight paths to develop an airport that can help local carrier Emirates win a higher share of long-haul traffic. Since Griffiths joined from London’s Gatwick Airport in 2007, Dubai International has almost doubled traffic to 57.7 million passengers.
Emirates and all other passenger airlines operating in Dubai have until now all flown in and out of Dubai International. The airport has three terminals and is undergoing a $7.8 billion expansion plan that will boost capacity to 90 million passengers by 2018. Part of that project involved the construction of an area specially dedicated to the Airbus SAS A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft.
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