Heathrow unable to hold a candle to Dubai

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It was a concern way back in 2009 that Dubai might over take Heathrow as a major international hub if Heathrow was not given a third runway.

Well that concern may actually come to be in the next four years or even sooner.

By 2015 we expect to overtake London Heathrow for the number one spot when passenger numbers surpass 75 million, said Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive of Dubai Airport.

Around 3.97 million passengers passed through the worlds fourth busiest airport for international passenger traffic in May, compared with 3.65 million passengers during the same month in 2010.

Dubai remains a big financial centre with a host of attractive options and its little wonder were seeing Dubai Airports projecting a bullish outlook for the next few years, said Saj Ahmad, Chief Analyst at FBE Aerospace, London.

Ahmad said it is not surprising to see Dubai Airport state that they will exceed 75 million passengers by 2015. He said these numbers indicate that demand to, from and within the GCC, especially in Dubai, remains unabated despite the regional political woesseen in the first half of this year.

It also shows that the progressive nature of Dubais civil aviation policies that are designed to harness and cater for growing passenger numbers, Ahmad said adding that these numbers completely vindicate the vision behind Al Maktoum International Airport.

It is quite feasible that Dubai International Airport could top 100 million passengers before the end of the decade with Emirates and FlyDubai also growing rapidly, youd have to be pretty misguided to assume otherwise,?he added.

The progressive nature of Dubais civil aviation policies have, from day one, designed to harness and cater for growing passenger numbers.

However, other experts say that Dubai has already beat Heathrow but keeping a low profile.

Samuel Adams a British Expat Banker living in Dubai told AG that the Dubai Airport is one best airports I have come across and it is next to Hong Kong Airport on my list. Heathrow is a far cry from the efficiency and smoothness of Dubai.

Third Runway

Lord Soley, UK’s former Labour MP said, “Dubai is a very direct threat to Heathrow it is clear that Dubai is setting itself up as a primary international and business centre creating links between America and the Far East. Dubai is targeting Heathrow and other European airports.

While Heathrow waits to hear whether it will be allowed to build a third runway, Dubai is pressing ahead with plans for six.

This news did come on the 21st of June.

There will be no third runway.

Willie Walsh has probably killed off the third runway at Heathrow. The admission by the British Airways (BA) chief executive, at The Times CEO Summit on 21st june, that a third runway will never be built at Heathrow is hugely significant.

For years British Airways has been the most powerful advocate for a third runway. The airline argued it was essential to their business model which was based on large numbers of passengers interchanging at Heathrow from long-haul intercontinental flights to short-haul hops to European destinations.

Walsh admitted that it was planning to use Madrid Airport for much more of this hub function. BA is well-placed to do this as it recently formed an alliance with Iberian Airlines. It is this admission which has effectively killed off the third runway at Heathrow. The biggest user of the airport is now basing its business plans and projections, on life without a new runway.

There will continue to be business voices calling for a third runway but, without the backing of BA, they will diminish in significance.

Willie Walsh hinted yesterday that the UK economy would be the loser if the number of passengers interchanging at Heathrow could no longer grow.

There is no doubt the government, under pressure from some Conservatives to reconsider its decision to rule out new runways in the South East, will welcome Willie Walshs statement.

The mayor of London Borris Johnson, who was against the third runway, added: “We’re on the verge of making a historic mistake over provision of aviation capacity. Heathrow is perpetually struggling to fit a quart into a pint pot. It’s no wonder the Heathrow experience can be so miserable.

Whatever said and done, Dubai is breezing through its renovations and pretty soon it will lake over Hong Kong, which has been awarded as the best Airport in the world for 2011 by Skytrax.

Sources: Telegraph UK, Newzglobe, Khleej Times, Enjoy Life Play, Day Life, Left Foot Forward, London Evening Standard

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