New concourse boosts capacity at Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport boosted its capacity to 90 million passengers on Wednesday as it opened its new Concourse D.
The concourse, part of a US$1.2 billion investment to enhance service and capacity, is linked to the newly-renovated Terminal 1 by an airport train that can transport 300 passengers per trip.
“Aside from its many customer-centric features, Concourse D continues our legacy of providing timely capacity,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports. “Today we also announce our 2016 forecast, which projects 85 million passengers will visit Dubai International this year. With the addition of Concourse D, Dubai International is getting both bigger and better.”
Dubai International Airport recently retained its position as the world’s No 1 for international passenger traffic for a second year after traffic exceeded 78 million in 2015.
Aided by 100 airlines that connect the airport to 240 destinations around the world, airport traffic increased by 10.7 per cent last year over the 70.4 million recorded in 2014.
“Concourse D is vital for Dubai airport since its organic growth is clearly showing no signs of deceleration,” said Saj Ahmad, the chief analyst at the UK’s StrategicAero Research.
But he warned that the airport’s rapid growth could result in it exceeding its full capacity before 2020 – calling for a speedy readiness of the city’s second airport Dubai World Central (DWC).
“At this rate, it’s likely Dubai airport will eclipse the 100 million passenger mark well before 2020, so there’s a greater underlying importance on getting DWC developed even faster than it is now,” said Mr Ahmad.
The opening came after months of testing and trials involving 2,000 members of the public.
The first flight to arrive at the new facility was British Airways flight 105, with both BA and Royal Jordanian operating on day one from the concourse and the remainder phasing in operations over the next few weeks.
Concourse D has 21 contact stands, of which four will be able to accommodate the double-deck Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 planes. There are also 11 remote stands.
The new concourse also features well-being concepts such as Be Relax spa and SnoozeCubes, plus nine lounges, including five airline lounges, a new Al Majlis lounge, two Dubai International Hotel lounges and a Marhaba VIP lounge. Dubai Duty Free has a total of 175 retail installations.