When will the brand new Abu Dhabi airport terminal open?

It has been just a few years since I wrote about this terminal, so I assume it is time for an replace…

The Fundamentals of Abu Dhabi Airport’s Midfield Terminal

A number of years in the past, building started on a brand new midfield terminal at Abu Dhabi Worldwide Airport. The brand new terminal was to extend the airport’s capability to 45 million passengers per yr, greater than double the present capability. The terminal complete is 742,000 sq. meters.

Again in 2017, there have been plans to open the brand new terminal in the identical yr. Nonetheless, in some unspecified time in the future in the course of the yr there was a sudden two-year delay, that means the terminal was purported to open in 2019. Additionally they ran checks on the terminal with volunteers in 2019, which seems to be just like the terminal will open. quickly.

In early 2020, there have been official plans to open the terminal later this yr. Now that we enter the later a part of 2020, what are the plans for the brand new terminal opening?

When is Abu Dhabi’s new terminal opening?

Final month, the SVP of business at Abu Dhabi airport stepped down. On the time he was requested concerning the newest on the state of affairs on the midfield terminal. His response was that he doesn’t envision the terminal opening till mid-to-end 2021. As he defined in an interview:

“All the challenge has now sadly come to a halt as a consequence of Covid-19. We misplaced a yr inside a yr. After I returned to ADAC in 2018, my job was to renegotiate all contracts, as with Etihad Airways shrinking in dimension and passenger numbers in 2015/2016, most contracts have been untenable for the midfield.

That was my job and I’ve achieved that. However apparently – because of the important impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and one other unlucky delay within the opening – it’s all about to occur once more. I could not face one other spherical of renegotiated contracts.”

It seems to be like there will likely be a minimum of one other yr till Abu Dhabi’s new midfield terminal opens, and even that appears optimistic at this level.

Can the challenge be deserted altogether?

There isn’t any longer a necessity for Abu Dhabi’s midfield terminal, plain and easy. A minimum of it’s so by way of capability.

Development on the terminal started at a time when Etihad was attempting to change into an enormous international participant, and needed to go head-to-head in opposition to Emirates. That technique failed, because the airline, having misplaced billions of {dollars}, determined to restructure, and now intends to change into a smaller, extra boutique airline.

Etihad is attempting to shrink slightly than broaden

All this was earlier than the beginning of this pandemic. Now with this pandemic, the state of affairs is much more dire, and IATA predicts that demand won’t enhance till 2024.

In truth, if the brand new terminal opens any time within the subsequent few years, it will likely be purely to improve the passenger expertise, not as a result of there may be another purpose for it. And I’ve a tough time imagining that this is able to occur.

Then there may be Dubai World Central Airport

Dubai World Central Airport has been open since 2013, and is taken into account one of many largest airports on the planet, dealing with 230 million passengers per yr. Though:

  • Enlargement on the airport has been halted
  • Emirates was supposed to maneuver operations to Dubai World Central in some unspecified time in the future, however that is not within the playing cards for now
  • Since Dubai World Central is between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, there was a long-standing dialogue that we could ultimately see Emirates and Etihad merge, and co-locate there.

I’ll word that the idea of Emirates and Etihad merger and relocation at Dubai World Central has been a theme for a few years. The politics concerned is complicated and that’s the reason we can’t see it, even whether it is in any other case rational.

Emirates and Etihad merger logical, however unlikely

floor degree

Abu Dhabi Airport’s new midfield terminal was scheduled to open again in 2017, however the opening has been delayed a number of occasions. The terminal is nearly completed (and has been round for over a yr), however that does not imply the terminal will open.

If Etihad shouldn’t be going to broaden, then there isn’t any justification for opening it, and it’s also not taking into consideration the affect of coronavirus.

Whereas it’s envisioned to open as late as mid-2021 at this level, that’s nonetheless most unlikely. Personally I would not be stunned if this terminal does not open within the subsequent 5 years, and would not be stunned if the challenge is deserted no matter how far alongside it’s.

What are your predictions for Abu Dhabi’s midfield terminal?

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