Dubai runway work: Emirates to cut flights to 41 destinations

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The Dubai-based carrier said the changes would not impact customers booked to fly between May and July.

Emirates Airline said on Thursday that runway upgrades at Dubai International would cut its revenues by Dh1 billion this year as it has to reduce flights to 41 destinations worldwide.

The airline, one of the fastest growing global carriers, said it would, however, continue to serve all of its worldwide destinations during the 80-day period of runway upgrading works starting May 1.

In a statement, the Dubai-based carrier said the changes would not impact customers booked to fly between May and July as the flight schedules have been planned and implemented months ahead of time.

“There will be an impact on our revenues to the tune of approximately Dh1 billion,” Tim Clark, the President of Emirates, said. Emirates, which flies to more than 140 destinations, reported a first-half profit of a profit of Dh2.2 billion in 2013.

“We understand the need for this upgrading work to be done, and we support it wholeheartedly.

“It will add much-needed capacity to the airport, and having world-class infrastructure ultimately means a better experience for customers. So we have to take the long-term view and manage the short term pain,” Clark added.

The airline, operating a fleet of 218 aircraft, will ground 20 jets in May, 22 in June, and 22 in July.

Dubai International Airport, which handled 66.4 million passengers in 2013, said earlier this week that it would cut 26 per cent of flights handled during the runway work.

However, it plans to divert some flights to Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport, which opened to passenger traffic last October.

Emirates said its freighter operations would move to the new airport for the period.

Customers or travel agents searching for flight options on Emirates will only see those flights that are available.

“Customers who have booked to fly with us, or are considering to fly with us during this time, can be assured that it is business as usual. On routes where Emirates has had to reduce frequency, we have upgraded to bigger aircraft where possible to recover part of the capacity,” said Clark.

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