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16 - Sep - 2014

Dubai’s Al Maktoum Airport threatens Heathrow’s Airport Supremacy.

Britain and in particular Heathrow’s position as the leader in the aviation industry worldwide is facing a threat from Dubai’s 2nd airport, the Al maktoum international airport. Dubai has pledged to invest $32bn towards the airport’s construction which will enable it expand to accommodate 240 million passengers in a year. This will be 100,000 higher than the total number of passengers who used London’s airports last year.

Dubai said it wants to create a transport Mega- hub in the desert,will undertake the expansion of Al maktoum airport in two stages. First of which will take six to eight years, will increase passenger numbers to 120m. 40m more than Heathrow can handle currently.

Dubai’s main airport the Dubai International is already threatening London‘s airports dominance as the world’s transport Hub.  In the first quarter of this year it overtook Heathrow as the busiest airport for international traffic in the world. Dubai international airport currently is the hub of emirates airline, the 8th ranked airline in the world by passenger numbers. It was also voted as the world’s best airline in the 2013 world airline awards at the Paris airshow.

These plans by the Gulf state will reignite debate about the position of London and to extent Britain as a business destination.Heathrow has helped cement Britain’s position by combining transit and direct flights to give it huge advantages as a transport Hub.

UK needs extra hub capacity by expanding Heathrow or other London airports argues businessleader Lord Norman Foster. Expansion of Heathrow though is of the cards, as it is Heathrow is busting at its seams. However, building of a 2nd runway at Gatwick airport can provide the extra capacity required in the short run

Heathrow’s decline comparatively will lead to the whole of UK being less attractive for business as London will fail to provide the range of destinations that businesses desire.