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Jet fuel pipeline opens as Dubai gears up for World Cup flights

DWC Dubai Airports
The passenger terminal at DWC, which will be a hub for match-day flights to Doha
  • ENOC’s 16.2km pipeline is delivering fuel to Al Maktoum airport
  • Dubai’s second airport will be a hub for match-day flights to Qatar
  • Flydubai is planning up to 30 Dubai-Doha services each day

A pipeline that delivers jet fuel to Al Maktoum International Airport has been completed, some eight weeks before the Dubai airport becomes a hub for World Cup flights to Qatar.

Oil and gas giant ENOC Group announced the completion of the 16.2km pipeline, which links the airport to its Horizon Emirates storage terminal in Jebel Ali, at an industry event on September 27.

ENOC said the pipeline would carry 2,000 cubic metres per hour of jet fuel to the emirate’s second airport, which is also known as Dubai World Central (DWC).

John Grant, chief analyst at global travel data provider OAG and partner of Midas Aviation, told AGBI: “It’s clearly another major step forward in the development of Dubai World Central and will help support not just the daily operation but the planned dedicated services to Qatar during the World Cup.”

Low-cost carrier Flydubai is planning match-day shuttle flights between Dubai and Doha during the tournament, which begins on November 20.

Working with Qatar Airways and other GCC national carriers, Flydubai will offer up to 30 daily return flights between Al Maktoum airport and Doha for match ticket holders. Return flights are available from $258 in economy and from $998 in business class. 

The ENOC pipeline will reduce the reliance on road transport for jet fuel supply.

Saif Humaid Al Falasi, group CEO at ENOC, said: “The completion of the construction of our new pipeline is set to meet the demand for jet fuel at Dubai Airports up until 2050, which is aligned with Dubai’s vision to build a sustainable future for the emirate. The state-of-the-art pipeline will be integral in supporting infrastructure and strengthening the supply of jet fuel to Al Maktoum International Airport.”

ENOC also supplies Dubai International Airport (DXB) through two jet fuel pipelines. Both sites are operated by Dubai Airports.

Al Maktoum airport opened in 2010 for cargo operations followed by passenger flights in 2013. Its current annual capacity is 26.5 million passengers. This is expected to rise to 160 million when the development is completed.

Grant said: “Both airports are now complementary to each other and will continue to develop in the coming years. Although DXB continues to have capacity, as we all know, at some point there will be the inevitable movement of more and more services to DWC.”

The passenger terminal at DWC was closed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic as Dubai Airports consolidated all its passenger and cargo operations at DXB. 

Freight operators moved back to DWC in March this year. The passenger terminal was reopened two months later to accommodate traffic diverted from DXB owing to the closure of its northern runway for refurbishment.

Between May and June, 651,826 passengers travelled through DWC on 6,240 flights.