Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Dubai, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Spotting News | Posted on 03-04-2013
Construction of Dubai World Central’s passenger terminal building was completed in 2012. Upon opening, the new facility will offer full retail amenities. It is serviced by one A380 capable runway, 64 remote aircraft stands and has capacity for up to 7 million passengers per year. The terminal will undergo a full testing and trial programme over the coming months to ensure a seamless opening.
The first carriers to operate to the airport have been announced as nasair and Wizz Air. These will link Dubai World Central to Saudi Arabia and Eastern Europe respectively, and will likely offer a much cheaper alternative to reach Dubai from Europe than existing options through Emirates and other full service airlines.
József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air, said: “I am honoured to announce Wizz Air as a launch customer and first international low fares airline operating at Dubai World Central. For us this is a hugely significant milestone, with our 10 year European success story now crossing borders far beyond Europe.”
Dubai World Central first opened for cargo operations in June 2010 and has quickly established itself as an emerging cargo airport in the region with 36 airlines (scheduled and chartered) handling 219,092 tonnes of air freight on 16,317 aircraft movements during 2012.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Asia, Dubai, Heathrow, Hong Kong, Middle East, UK, Western Europe | Posted on 28-03-2013
The airport is now ahead of Paris Charles de Gaulle and Hong Kong airports, which previously handled more international traffic. Dubai now has its sights firmly on top position as it approaches London Heathrow, which has occupied top slot for many years but is now at full capacity. Heathrow’s options have been severely hampered by the UK government declining additional runways at the airport.
Dubai Airport handled 10,640,120 passengers in the first two months of this year, a rise of 13% over the same period last year. It hopes to gain top spot by 2015. It recently opened the new Concourse A, which is developed to handle up to 20 Airbus A380 superjumbos at once.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Dubai, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 12-03-2013
Dubai World Central has been operating as a cargo airport for a couple of years, and will eventually supersede the original airport when it begins accepting passenger flights. Its first passenger terminal is due to open in September this year, and Emirates has hinted that it may move all of its operations to DWC from 2025.
With the move of its cargo division to the new airport, belly cargo carried by its passenger flights will need to be transported between the two airports by road. Great news for truck spotters!
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Asia, Dubai, Middle East, Philippines | Posted on 18-01-2013
Cebu Pacific has announced that its first long haul destination will be Dubai.
The Philippines-based carrier has agreed leases on two Airbus A330-300 aircraft this year, with a further two due in 2014. These will allow its planned long haul expansion into markets such as the Middle East, Europe and the USA.
In addition to the Manila to Dubai route, additional long haul destinations are expected to be announced soon. It will operate daily from 7th October.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Dubai, Middle East | Posted on 14-01-2013
The oldest terminal building at Dubai Airport is in need of improvements to the passenger experience and baggage system.
A new baggage screening process will greatly improve passenger flow by eliminating a queuing point, reducing the time it takes passengers to move from the forecourt in Terminal 1 to the departure gates. The additional space created by streamlined baggage process will be used to transform the departures hall into a more spacious and welcoming environment and when combined with upgraded wayfinding signage, provide a more easily accessible building for the travelling public.
The refurbishment programme also includes the reconfigured and expanded arrivals hall.
Once the refurbishment of Terminal 1 is complete, it will be linked via a new elevated train system to Concourse D, which is currently under construction. Concourse D will become the new home of the more than 100 airlines that fly to and from Dubai International when it opens in 2015.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airport News, Dubai, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting | Posted on 02-01-2013
Concourse A at the airport’s Terminal 3 features 20 contact gates capable of handling the A380 superjumbo, and is the first such facility anywhere in the world.
The concourse was opened on 2nd January, with four gates available, following passenger trials in December. EK 003 scheduled for departure at 1430hrs from Dubai to Heathrow, London became Concourse A’s first flight, ushering in a new era in Dubai’s aviation history.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said, “Just as we did with what turned out to be a flawless opening of Terminal 3 and Concourse B in 2008 – which was a much larger and more complex exercise involving the complete transfer of Emirates airline’s operations to the new facility – we are opening Concourse A in stages with more gates coming online in each successive phase. We believe that this approach of gradual transition will enable us and all our partners to ensure smooth operations and help us to deliver on our customer service commitment.”
A another critical element of the $7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020, Concourse A is part of the Terminal 3 complex exclusively built for the use of Emirates airline, and will provide Dubai International’s the much needed room as its passenger traffic approaches full capacity. Dubai International’s annual passenger capacity will increase from 60 million to 75 million when Concourse A is fully operational, while traffic for 2012 is expected to reach 57 million.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Airline News, Dubai, Middle East, Miscellaneous Spotting, Spain, Western Europe | Posted on 21-12-2012
The flights will take place on 24th February 2013, and 1st March 2013.
Booking is open for both of these flights if you wish to step aboard!
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Africa, Airline News, Dubai, Ethiopia, Middle East, Qatar, Spotting News | Posted on 20-08-2012
As Ethiopian Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft this week – only the third airline to do so – it has outlined plans to expand its fleet and home base dramatically over the coming years.
The airline has 14 aircraft due for delivery this year, including more 787s, as well as Boeing 737-800s, Dash 8 Q400s, and Boeing 777 freighters.
Ethiopian has also announced it is considering purchasing either 737 Max or Airbus A320neo aircraft as part of its intentions to increase its fleet to 120 aircraft by 2025.
To complement these plans, Ethiopian Airlines is hoping to make its Addis Ababa Airport base a worldwide hub along the lines of those in Dubai and Doha, where passengers would arrive from one side of the world and transfer to flights heading to the other side of the world.
Ethiopian’s unique selling point is its strong coverage of emerging markets in Africa, which the Middle Eastern carriers have been slower to reach.
Whether this happens is still very much up in the air, as most consider Addis Ababa to be inferior to many Western and Middle Eastern hub airports, and Ethiopian’s existing fleet of Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft are starting to look long in the teeth.
Posted by Matt Falcus | Posted in Dubai, Middle East, Spotting News | Posted on 27-06-2012
Dubai Airport’s latest terminal will be unveiled by the end of the year, and its purpose is to house Emirates’ growing fleet of Airbus A380 jets with their massive passenger capacities, and the many specialist problems they pose to airport operations.
Emirates will eventually have 90 of the A380 aircraft in its fleet, and this new terminal at Dubai will be capable of handling 20 at any one time, each docked to jet bridges.
Inside the 11-storey terminal, there will be first class and business lounges, large departure lounges, and an automated people mover train linking to Terminal 3.
Once open, the new terminal will bring Dubai Airport’s capacity to 75 million passengers per year.