How The Airbus A380’s End Will Change Dubai World Central Airport

Dubai World Central is envisioned to be a huge aviation metropolis for the United Arab Emirates. However, the new airport was planned to play host to a huge fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft. With Airbus stopping A380 production, and the A350 set to enter the Emirates fleet, what will this mean for the airport?

Emirates, Dubai World Central, Sheikh Ahmed
The plan for Dubai World Airport is set to change now that Emirates will receive fewer A380s. Photo: Emirates

Earlier today Simple Flying got the chance to sit down with His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum to discuss Dubai World Central. Sheikh Ahmed is the CEO of Emirates, however, he is also heavily involved in Dubai World Central Airport.

An airport designed for A380s

When Dubai World Central was initially envisaged, it was planned to act as a huge hub for Emirates’ growing fleet of Airbus A380 aircraft. However, in February, Airbus publicly announced that it was canning the A380 program. Despite this, Emirates could have continued to take the A380 on a bespoke basis.

Of course, among other things, the original design of the airport was based around the projection of more Airbus A380s continuing to join the Emirates fleet. Instead, the airline today announced that it has committed to 50 brand new Airbus A350-900 aircraft to be delivered from 2023-2028.

Emirates, Dubai World Central, Sheikh Ahmed
On behalf of Emirates, Sheikh Ahmed today signed a deal for 50 Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Photo: Emirates

A future hub for Emirates

When Simple Flying got the chance to sit down with Sheikh Ahmed earlier today, we discussed Dubai World Central. Coincidentally the airport we were discussing has a special area dedicated to the hosting of the Dubai Airshow. I asked him if, following reports that work had ceased on the airport earlier this year, Emirates still plans to move to the airport.

Sheikh Ahmed told me “[Emirates] need it” due to the projected size of their fleet in 10 years’ time. However, he went on to mention that “the model has changed” adding:

“The model when we were talking before was around A380s, and that’s gone. It’s not my decision. I cannot build it for something I know it is not going [to get]… I have to change the model, the gates, the building size”

Emirates, Dubai World Central, Sheikh Ahmed
Dubai World Central is set to become a huge mega airport. Photo: Dubai Airports

This is perfectly illustrated by the size of the Airbus A380. Because it is equipped with two complete decks, it is common to couple three jet bridges to the aircraft. However, with the rest of Emirates’ incoming fleet being made of single deck aircraft, the third jetbridge would be rendered obsolete.

Part of Dubai’s airport strategy

The Dubai World Central Airport is already proving to be a useful asset in the Dubai airport strategy. Sheikh Ahmed told Simple Flying that the airport already has a 30 million capacity. During the closure of a runway at the main Dubai Airport, flydubai was able to utilize the airport. He went on to add that he wants flydubai to operate more flights from the airport which is located towards the south of Dubai.

Have you visited Dubai World Central Airport? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.