Dubai carrier Emirates airline could delay its relocation to the new Al-Maktoum International Airport by up to 10 years, the airline tells MEED.

Tim Clark, the president of Emirates, says that the Dubai government-owned airline has reviewed its plans and now plans to move to the new airport between 2022 and 2030.

Initially, the airline was scheduled to move there between 2018 and 2020.

However, with a series of investments under way at the existing Dubai International Airport to increase capacity to 90 million passengers a year from a previous estimate of 75 million, Emirates says it can still benefit from operating out of the old airport.

Dubai airport’s $1.17bn concourse three, which is scheduled to open in 2012 has been specifically designed to accommodate Emirates’ fleet of A380 aircraft.

With such improvements under way, Emirates and the other airlines serving at the airport in Deira are able to delay their move to Al-Maktoum International.

The first phase of Dubai’s Al-Maktoum International Airport is scheduled to open on 27 June for cargo operations initially with passenger operations to follow (MEED 24:2:10).

The airport is part of the $33bn Dubai World Central development close to Jebel Ali. It will also include a centre for logistics companies and residential developments.

A consortium comprising local Arabtec Construction and Malaysia’s WCT Engineering won the construction contract for the airport in 2006.

Once complete, Al-Maktoum International Airport will be able to handle 160 million passengers a year.