Published On: Thu, Jun 11th, 2015

Emirates CEO lets the cat out of the bag

emiratesEmirates President Tim Clarke let the cat out of the bag yesterday when he ended long speculation over the possible move by the airline from Dubai International Airport, in short DXB, to the brand-new and still expanding Al Maktoum International, generally referred to as Dubai World Central, or in short DWC.

According to Clarke, Emirates will move to the new airport in 10 years’ time and then embark on another phase of rapid growth with plans to double an already sizeable fleet of wide-bodied aircraft.

The award-winning national airline of Dubai presently serves some 140 destinations across the world, every single one with a wide-bodied jets. The present fleet size of nearly 230 aircraft will have risen to around 300 by 2025, when the move to DWC will be effected.

Additional comments also suggest that Airbus’ largest jet, the A380, will see further orders and that the coy attitude about an A380NEO, re-engined with the latest technology, will need to be turned into a firm commitment to secure up to 100 new orders.

Clarke, in his comments made at the just-ended IATA AGM in Miami, suggested that Dubai World Central, with a passenger capacity of up to 120 million per annum in 2025, will be able to handle as many as 250 Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft. Emirates presently has 61 of these supersized planes in service but expects delivery of another 79 such aircraft under existing orders. He also expressed his confidence that there is nothing to stop the airline from operating as many as 600 planes overall, while eyeing a further 100 new destinations over and above the present extensive range of destinations.

For Eastern Africa, those who look 10 years ahead – and in aviation more than in any other economic sector where the phrase “time flies” holds water – this could mean multiple daily frequencies to airports presently served, i.e., Entebbe, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam, and also the expansion of destinations to include other key airports in the region which are right now not served by Emirates flights.

While Dubai World Central is located in Jebel Ali, and as such more distant from the city of Dubai and its ever-growing number of satellites, the new airport will be linked to the Dubai International Airport by a high-speed urban railway, allowing passengers destined for Dubai, or taking a stopover package which offers to passengers at very affordable cost, to reach the city itself without traffic jams.

Much to look forward to no doubt as the clock begins to tick down to 2025.