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Dubai’s second airport, designed to be the world’s largest when completed, will open in June for cargo only, with plans to receive passengers in spring next year, Dubai Airports chief said Tuesday.

“Dubai will no longer be a single airport city,” chief executive officer, Paul Griffiths, told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual Arabian Travel Market held in Dubai.

He set June 27 as the date for the start of operations at Al-Maktoum International Airport.

He said that the passenger terminal is scheduled to be ready by the end of the year and that it will enter service at the beginning of the summer season in 2011, towards “the end of March.”

The airport, which is designed to have six runways and handle 120 million passengers when fully completed, was supposed to be operational by the end of 2008. Its runway has been ready since 2007.

Dubai airport handled 11.47 million passengers in the first quarter of this year, up 20.4 percent from the corresponding period last year, he said.

Aviation in the Middle East has bucked the slowdown in the world markets resulting from the credit crunch. Regional carriers recorded the strongest growth in passenger traffic at 25.9 percent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said last month.


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