Qatar’s airports are not suitable to welcome millions of guests for this year’s football world cup. Therefore, they will need help from nearby airports. One is the Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, or DWC, where the number of airlines buying extra slots is rising. One of those companies is Hungary’s Wizz Air, which aims to have its share of the increasing passenger traffic.
If you search Qatar on the maps of the Persian Gulf, it becomes clear that the gulf state is on a peninsula and is only reachable from Saudi Arabia. During the football world cup this autumn/winter, millions of guests are expected to arrive to watch the matches in Qatar. Of course, the small state’s airports are not suitable to welcome that many people, so they will need help from nearby cities and countries.
One of the possible airports in the neighbourhood is the Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central or DWC. Not surprisingly, the number of airlines buying extra slots at the DWC is rising. One of those companies is Hungary’s Wizz Air, which they call Europe’s fastest-growing airline. Now it seems they would like to have their share of the increasing passenger traffic in the gulf region.
According to marketwatch.com, the number of passengers at the Dubai International Airport surged in the first six months of 2022. They expect that the coming football world cup will further boost traffic there. Over the past six months, 28 million people travelled through the airport. That is 70 percent of the airport’s pre-pandemic levels, even though China is still closed due to the severe pandemic restrictions Beijing introduced.
Paul Griffiths, who oversees the world’s busiest airport for international travel, told the Associated Press that foreign football fans would flock to Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central or DWC. From there, they will travel to Qatar.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of demand at DWC for slot filings for airlines wanting to operate a shuttle service,” Mr Griffiths said. “I think the city has a lot to offer and a lot to gain from the World Cup.”
Griffiths mentioned three airlines buying extra slots to shuttle soccer fans to the tournament from DWC:
The ambition of Dubai is to turn the DWC into a mega-aviation hub.
Lately, we reported that Wizz Air planned to restart its flight to Moscow. However, they withdrew that decision after an international outcry. You may read further details in this issue in THIS article.
This year’s football world cup is exceptional. It is the first time a Middle-Eastern country organises the tournament. Furthermore, it is the first time the world cup takes place during autumn/winter instead of summer. That did not happen even during the 2010 FIFA world cup in South Africa, even though it was in the southern hemisphere where the seasons are reversed.
On THIS map, you may find the stadiums where the matches will be played.
Source: marketwatch.com, DNH