Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dubai World Central, A Vision Delayed

In my previous Blog "Dubai The Brand" I wrote " As for DWC it will slowly be buried until they figure out what to do with it." I was wrong, the waiting is over, Dubai World Central's (DWC) fate is sealed.
EMIRATES AIRLINES will not move to DWC until 2025, seven years after the last upgrade, Concourse 4 of Dubai International. Currently DWC has one runway and a low cost terminal. Several cargo forwarders and an FBO are based there. The airport is connected to Jebel Ali Free Zone with an overpass that allows cargo to move between both areas without having to go through customs.

This shifts any sizable investment until about 2018. DWC Phase 2 (2018-2023) will cover the construction of another four (4) runways and a terminal capable of 160 million passengers annually and a cargo facility capable of 12 million tons annually.
The question now is what happens at DWC between now and 2018. Dubai Airports has to come up with some plans to keep the facility operational and grow the business. My guess would be to attract MROs and Aviation related OEMs to set up facilities there.
To read about Dubai Airport expansion click here

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dubai The Brand

Dubai has been in the news again. A couple days back Dudai Airports announced a massive investment in Dubai International Airport (around 7.8 billion USD) to build Concourse 4 (Concourse 3 is currently under construction), upgrade Terminal 2 and increase cargo capacity by almost 30%. This will bring the airport capacity to 90 million passengers by 2018 from the current 60 million passengers.

Great news! well yes but what about Dubai World Central Airport at Jebel Ali. This was supposed to be a six runways (now 5 runways planned) airport able to handle 180 million passengers annually. The airport has one runway operational and a low cost terminal built. Cargo operation has started but operators prefer the International Airport. Passenger operation has been delayed  till 2012. No airline wants to use the airport it is very far from Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

The other Bad news is the cancellation of Dubai Aerospace Enterprises of all its Airbus orders (45 aircraft. 11 A350-900 and 34 A320, worth 5.8 billion USD) and is in discussion with Boeing about the possibility of canceling their orders 56 aircraft. DAE has never risen to become a strategic business for Dubai. DAE owns Standard Aero.

How do these events affect the Dubai brand?   Positively.

Financially it looks great Dubai just reduced 5.8 Billion USD of liability and is looking to reduce it further when they cancel the Boeing orders.

The expansion of Dubai Airport was associated with increased jobs in the aviation sector and a greater contribution to the GDP.  As for DWC it will slowly be buried until they figure out what to do with it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Who Is On My Flight?

"Oluwaseun Noibi, 24, reportedly boarded a flight in New York last week using an expired boarding pass with someone else’s name on it. The flight crew didn’t even realize there was a stowaway on the plane until halfway through the flight, when they realized they had an extra passenger in a premium seat. TSA insists Noibi was screened properly but that it didn’t “properly authenticate the passenger’s documentation.”" Read the full blog on

This incident is pure incompetence and someone not paying attention. The fact that it slipped through the TSA does not absolve the airline from the responsibility of making sure who is flying on board their aircraft. All airlines check boarding passes electronically against their departure control system database to ensure all checked in passengers have boarded the aircraft.

A few airlines still have the Senior Cabin Crew Member perform a final check, at the aircraft door, of the boarding pass against the passport. It is not only for the identity of the passenger but more importantly  the flight number, destination and date;  followed by a quick passengers count to make sure it tallies with the manifest.

Airlines stopped doing this because they want to board passengers fast, this procedure does not delay a turnaround, Air Arabia turns around their flights in 45 minutes.

The TSA procedures are indirectly making it easier for airlines to relax their procedures. This is not a security problem, a passenger with a valid boarding pass can still get on the wrong flight. A lot of countries have security checks performed prior to Check In which ensures that the passenger has a valid ticket and is issued with the proper boarding pass.


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