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Dubai Airports to offer incentives to airlines to operate from Al Maktoum International Airport

With closure of one of the runways at Dubai International Airport next summer, operator Dubai Airports is getting ready to offer incentives to global carriers to shift some capacity to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC) during the 45-day period.

Dubai Airports said in February it plans to close the southern runway at Dubai International Airport from April 16 to May 30, 2019, for refurbishment.

“Any carrier relocating flights to DWC during the runway closure period, including Indian airlines, will not be charged landing and parking fees, and will also have reductions made to other operational costs at DWC,” Khalil Lamrabet, Director of Aviation Business Management at Dubai Airports, told Gulf News on Tuesday.

“There will also be free transport services for passengers transiting between the two airports during the closure period.”

While these particular incentives apply only during the 45-day period, more incentives are being planned going forward.

“A different incentive programme is in place to encourage scheduled carriers to operate to Dubai World Central as we continue to promote the airport as alternative choice for point to point traffic to and from Dubai,” Lamrabet said.

The greater share of the total reduction will have to be made by base carriers during the closure, he added. “Emirates and flydubai will account for 55 per cent share of the overall required volume reduction. This will require both carriers to reduce their operations by approximately 33 per cent. Other carriers are required to contribute 45 per cent of the overall required volume reduction.”

Good for DWC

Dubai Airports’ offering of incentives to carriers to operate from Al Maktoum International will prove a promising move for the airport, according to industry experts.

Aviation analyst Mark Martin, Founder and CEO, Martin Consulting, says such a move is geared towards encouraging more airlines to operate from Dubai World Centre in the long term.

“It’s a huge plus for Dubai World Central. The airport will benefit momentarily from such a move,” he told Gulf News by phone.

“But at the same time it will be a pain for travellers owing to the lack of connectivity to DWC from the city and the other airport.”

Al Maktoum International Airport, located in Jebel Ali, 37 kilometres southwest of Dubai, opened in June 2010, and has attracted only a few global commercial airlines so far. It is, however, home to a majority of private jet operators in the country in addition to a bulk of cargo operators.

Khalil Lamrabet, Director of Aviation Business Management at Dubai Airports, told Gulf News on Tuesday that the airports body will be offering international airlines incentives to operate from Al Maktoum International.

The incentive programmes will kick off in the summer of next period when Dubai Airports will be closing off the southern runway at Dubai International for 45 days, from April 16 to May 30, 2019, for refurbishment.

The airport operator plans to offer incentives to global carriers to shift some capacity to Al Maktoum International at DWC during that period.

These include waiving off of landing and parking fees, along with reductions made to other operational costs for airlines at DWC, according to Lamrabet.

“We believe DWC provides an attractive option for a wide array of airlines due to its convenient and compact terminal, efficient design and proximity to the growing communities in new Dubai. That said, the incentives during this period are designed to minimise inconvenience and cost specifically during the runway rehabilitation project. We do have very competitive rates at DWC and will continue to entice airlines to use the facility going forward,” he said.

No airfare relief

The move, however, will not have any effect on airfares, according to Martin. “If carriers are decent enough, they would pass on the cost reductions to consumers. But I don’t see that happening,” he said.

Dubai Airports is due to release the passenger numbers for the first quarter this year for the two airports, at the end of this month. Last year saw annual traffic at Dubai International totaling 88.2 million while the same for Al Maktoum International was 904,940 passengers.

Source: Gulf News

 

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