In remarks at the opening the new airport, the Emir said the airport was a bridge for culture, tourism and civilization, linking the UAE and its people with the rest of the world. He added that the new airport reflects the Emirates’ vision for the development of its tourism sector, which aims to attract both Arab and foreign tourists.
The new terminal is the first phase of the Al-Maktoum Airport, based at the heart of the Dubai World Central aerotropolis. When complete, the airport is expected to serve 160 million passengers per year, which would make it the largest in the world. Plans for the airport include four Cat-III runways capable of handling four superjumbo aircraft landings simultaneously, 24 hours a day.
The airport has been accepting cargo flights since 2010 and, when complete, will have a cargo capacity of 12 million tons.
The first commercial flight, Hungarian Wizz Air flight W6-2497, arrived from Budapest on Sunday. Wizz Air plans to fly direct budget flights between the emirate and central and Eastern Europe. The first flight was symbolic of the airport’s ambition to become a hub airport that serves as a gateway between east and west.
Saudi Arabian airline Nas Air is planning to run direct flights to Al-Maktoum Airport from various cities in the kingdom.