Al Maktoum International celebrates its fifth anniversary

Al Maktoum International celebrates its fifth anniversary

Dubai, UAE – June 28, 2015

Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) celebrated its fifth anniversary yesterday having firmly established itself among the top 20 busiest international cargo hubs and a growing reputation as an efficient and convenient passenger airport.

When DWC opened on 27 June 2010, Dubai Airports outlined an ambitious plan to ultimately create the world’s biggest and most advanced airport. Five years on it has taken significant strides towards attaining that goal.

The airport managed 89,729 tonnes of cargo in the first full year of operations in 2011, surging to 824,932* tonnes for the full year 2014, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 276 per cent. Driving cargo growth at the airport was the decision in May last year to relocate all dedicated cargo operators from Dubai International to Al Maktoum International, including Emirates SkyCargo, which opened a new state-of-the-art facility at Dubai’s second airport.

Al Maktoum International already has a capacity of more than 1-million tonnes of cargo, with the aim of expanding this to an ultimate capacity of 16 million tonnes over the next two decades.

Passenger numbers have also grown since the opening of the passenger terminal on October 27, 2013 with more than 800,000 passengers using the facility during 2014. The airport proved its tremendous potential during an 80-day period in 2014 when Dubai International was reduced to one-runway operations. During that period, DWC handled 600 flights per week and garnered positive feedback from customers thanks to its compact nature, efficiency and convenience.

Given recent growth projections coupled with the fact that capacity at Dubai International is expected to max out at 100 million passengers, Dubai Airports recently announced plans to expand the passenger terminal to a capacity of 26 million passengers. Construction is expected to begin next year with completion slated for 2017.

Beyond the existing facilities, a $32bn expansion to create the world’s biggest airport was announced last year. Once complete the new facility will be able to accommodate 240 million passengers, will have five runways, four plus-shaped concourses and parking for more than 400 aircraft.

“To see Sheikh Rashid’s vision of creating an international hub at Al Maktoum International mature into a major regional hub is tremendously gratifying. This is an achievement worth celebrating as well as an ideal moment to look forward and grasp the opportunity to cement the airport’s position as the world’s leading airport,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports.

Aside from the robust growth, the first five years have been punctuated with a number of interesting firsts. These include:

  • The first cargo flight was an Emirates Boeing 777 freighter operating between Hong Kong and Dubai which landed at the at DWC on June 20, 2010 as part of operational readiness tests.
  • The first general aviation flight landedat DWC on April 28, 2011, operated by Al Futtaim.
  • The heaviest single cargo item ever to pass through Dubai’s airports was handled successfully at Al Maktoum International on 9 April 2012. The shipment, a 95-tonne turbine, was loaded on to a TTS-Volga Depner-operated Antonov 124 and was destined for the Nigerian state of Sokoto.
  • The first passenger flight, Wizz Air flight no W6 2497 from Budapest, Hungary, landed at the airport on October 27, 2013.