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Tuesday 21st of May 2013
Dubai Airports Expansion plans to go ahead
Dubai Airports has announced plans to increase Dubai International’s capacity to 90 million passengers a year by 2018. By next year, it expects to cater to 75 million travellers. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler, has confirmed that the project will receive a cash injection of $7.8 billion.
According to Airports Council International, in the first quarter of the year, Dubai International was only less busy than Heathrow and Hong Kong airports. The expansion plans could potentially make it the busiest airfield in the world. It currently serves 60 million passengers every year.
Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, is based at Dubai International. By the end of next year, concourse 3 will be completed which will be used by Emirates’ fleet of A380 superjumbos. Concourse 4 is due to be completed by 2015.
According to Dubai Airports’ chief executive, Paul Griffiths, funding for the airport expansion is being made manageable thanks to cash flow provided by Dubai Duty Free and Dubai Airports.
Currently, Dubai Airports is government funded, but Griffiths said that it may soon be able to stand alone as a company. As well as Dubai International, Dubai Airports runs the Al-Maktoum International Airport.
In 2010, the recovery of business and tourist travel from Asia, Europe and the US saw passenger numbers surge to 47.2 million at Dubai International, a rise of 15.4 per cent on a year earlier. Passenger traffic is expected to grow by 7.2 per cent every year through to the end of the decade, and cargo volumes by 6.7 per cent annually.
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