Dubai World Central, the new airport which opened for passenger traffic in November 2013 and designed to become the biggest airport in the world, has triggered discussions in the emirate how to proceed with the existing Dubai International Airport in the northeast of the sheikhdom.
Early Wednesday, Rashid Bu Qara'a, the chief operating officer of the Dubai Aviation City Corporation said that Dubai's state- owned budget carrier FlyDubai would shift operation soon from the old airport Dubai International Airport to Dubai World Central at the ongoing, two-day Destination Dubai conference.
Local daily Gulf News reported that FlyDubai, a subsidiary of Emirates Airline, denied it had any intention to relocate immediately.
However, the media office of the Dubai government Wednesday tweeted Emirates Airline, the fastest growing carrier in the world, it would make the shift to Al-Maktoum Airport in 2025 after the airport reaches 135 million passengers milestone.
A source told Xinhua anonymously that FlyDubai would relocate parts of its operations and that key staff were already looking for accommodation near the Dubai World Central, also known as Al- Maktoum International Airport, which is located 50 minutes away from the Dubai International Airport.
But as Dubai's old airport already hosted 65 million passengers in 2013, making it the world's second major hub behind London's Heathrow, discussions have emerged on whether or not Dubai International will remain open, an issue which will could have far- reaching impact for many of the 2.5 million people living in the metropolis, particularly expatriate workers.
Dubai World Central opened for cargo traffic in June 2010, and for passenger traffic in November 2013.
Once completed in 2025, the airport is poised to host 200 million passengers per year. Dubai World Central is expected to play a key role in hosting the World Expo in 2020.