Dubai's new airport to launch passenger services next October

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Dubai's new international airport, which started cargo operations in 2010, will open its long-delayed passenger terminal on Oct. 27 with two budget airlines launching services there, airport authorities said on Wednesday.

European low-cost carrier Wizz Air and Saudi Arabia's nasair will begin passenger operations into Dubai World Central, Dubai Airports said in a statement.

Dubai World Central is designed eventually to cater to 160million passengers, which would make it the world's largest airport on completion. It is supposed ultimately to replace the emirate's current international airport, Dubai International -though this will not happen before next decade at the earliest.

Big airlines, including Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates, have not indicated any plans to move to the new facility, which was originally due to open for passenger traffic in March 2011.

Dubai is still pressing ahead with a $7.8-billion plan to expand Dubai International and opened a dedicated terminal therefor Emirates Airbus A380s in January. Passenger flows through Dubai International jumped 13.2 percent last year to 57.68million people.

Last month the airport became the world's second busiest for international passenger traffic, moving ahead of Charles de Gaulle in Paris. London's Heathrow is the busiest.

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