Dubai World Central, the emirate’s second airport, will open to commercial flights for the first time later this year.
The airport’s owner, Dubai Airports, said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabian carrier nasair and Hungarian airline Wizz Air will fly planes onto the new runway on October 27.
Dubai World Central (DWC) first opened for cargo operations in June 2010 while its passenger terminal was completed last year.
When open, the new facility will be the world’s largest airport with five runways and a capacity of 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo per annum.
“A new era in Dubai’s already proud aviation story is set to begin,” said Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths.
“The introduction of passenger services from Dubai World Central is the first step in the long term development of the airport and will provide an attractive alternative to travellers. We are equally thrilled to welcome our launch airlines Wizz Air and nasair.”
Saudi airline nasair will operate over 50 flights a week into Dubai from a number of destinations in the Kingdom.
Wizz Air will fly from Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia and Kiev to Dubai from October, with one-way fares starting from AED349. Bucharest and Sofia will be three times weekly services and Budapest and Kiev four-times weekly. Services will operate on Airbus A320 aircraft.
Dominic Ellis, editor of Business Traveller Middle East, said news of nasir operating that many flights between Dubai and a number of Saudi destinations is not much of a surprise given the carrier is well known to many Middle Eastern passengers and business between the two GCC countries continues to flourish.
“Wizz Air’s arrival is altogether more interesting, as their flight map has hitherto evolved around eastern and south-east Europe – operating through its principal UK hub at London Luton,” said Ellis.
“Entering the Gulf is a bold move and signifies a new, ambitious international strategy – and it will further raise competition in the region’s increasingly competitive low-cost sector.”
Griffiths added that the airport will announce tie-ins with additional airlines in the coming months.
Captain François Bouteiller, chief executive officer of nasair, said: “Dubai’s strategic location with its continuous growth in travel demand has encouraged nasair to expand its operation to Dubai World Central, the city’s future hub.
“Nasair’s business travellers will from October have the opportunity to enjoy same-day travel between Dubai World Central and all major Saudi cities due to our convenient and seamless flight timings. At the same time we will maintain our long-standing flights from Dubai International.”