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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 20/01/2013

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Dubai International airport's Terminal 2 is expected to double its capacity in June, 2013 after the completion of expansion work, according to a top official of Dubai Airports.

At present more than 50 airlines operate out of this terminal. Recent expansions and refurbishment have increased the annual capacity to five million passengers from three million, which is likely to reach 10 million passengers this year.

Inaugurated on May 1, 1998 to alleviate congestion at Terminal 1, Terminal 2 caters to scheduled, charter and special interest flights during special occasions.

"Now we have capacity of five million [passengers at Terminal 2]. It's expected to open in the middle of this year," Anita Mehra, vice-president - Marketing and Corporate Communications, Dubai Airports, told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of a news conference in Dubai on Saturday.

Giving example, Mehra said: "We are opening concourse 3 in phases, but Terminal 2 is already in operations and as and when everything is ready it will happen."

Providing further details about the Terminal 2, she said there will be more space for retail segment. "There will be probably a lot more food area. Dubai Duty Free also expanding in nice look," she added.

Dubai Duty Free recently announced that its sales from Terminal 2 recorded an impressive 34 per cent growth in 2012 while total sales of from all terminals jumped to 5.3 billion by the end of last year.

Terminal 2 is home to Dubai's budget airline flydubai, which launched operations on June 1, 2009. At the moment the low-cost carrier accounts for around 80 per cent of the total passengers at Terminal 2, according to it chief executive officer Ghaith Al Ghaith.

Mehra, who joined the Dubai airport around 20 years ago, said: "We opened Terminal 2 for point to point traffic. Then flydubai three years ago took Terminal 2 as their home and they expanded so fast so we are doubling the capacity at the terminal," Mehra said.

Talking about flydubai, she said that the airline has played a key part in ensuring that passenger traffic at Dubai International is likely to have surpassed the projected target of 56.5 million passengers for the year as the world's fourth busiest hub for international passengers achieved another month of double digit growth last November.

She also mentioned that the airport operator has already announced its plan for refurbishment of Dubai International airport's Terminal and the new facility will provide passengers with improved service and accessibility.

She said the refurbishment of Terminal 1 includes more efficient and streamlined baggage screening in the departures hall, the replacement of all check-in desks, upgrade of baggage systems and the modernisation of all public areas. The upgrade is expected to be completed by the end of next year.


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