26 per cent reduction in number of flight operations during renovation period
One of Dubai International Airport’s two runways will close for renovation for 80 days from today. The base carriers at the airport — Emirates Airline and flydubai — are bearing 52.8 per cent of the total required reduction, while the restriction of freighters and charter operators, along with other scheduled passenger airlines will make up for the rest of the reduction.
Airlines flying to Dubai have already started communicating schedule changes required by the runway refurbishment programme, with some airlines electing to move their flights to Al Maktoum International for 80 days. More than 600 flights (arrivals and departures) per week will be operating from the airport. Several airlines flying in and out of Dubai Airport have been routed to other local airports and passengers have been advised to strictly adhere to check-in timings, and other formalities.
Dubai Airports has built in flexibility into the flight schedule over the next 80 days to ensure that no delays occur in cases of poor weather conditions and other unforeseen factors.
To safeguard service levels and optimise capacity while the work is taking place, scheduled passenger flights at Dubai International will be reduced and all freighter, charter and general aviation flights will be diverted to Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC).
In all, there will be a 26 per cent reduction in the number of aircraft movements at the airport during the maintenance period.
Strictly adhere to check-in timings
Passengers travelling between May 1 and July 20 must ensure that they check in on time due to strict take-off schedules.
Mohammed H Y Mattar, Division Senior Vice President of Emirates Airport Services, said the airline will close all check-in terminals at Dubai International one hour before take off. This includes online check-ins. Airline authorities have also advised passengers to reach their boarding gate no later than 20 minutes before take-off
Runway resurfacing is a common occurrence with airports around the world. However, as Dubai International offers airlines a 24/7 operation, runway closures are more complex and had to be meticulously planned.
Relocation to DWC
A total of 18 airlines have applied for slots at DWC during the 80-day runway refurbishment programme, including flydubai, PAL Express, Jet Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Yemenia Airlines, Equatorial Congo Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Ural Airlines, Finnair, HI Hamburg International, Japan Airlines, Rotana Jets and Transaero Airlines.
They will join six airlines — Wizz Air, Gulf Air, Jazeera Airlines, Qatar Airways, Eastern Horizon Airlines and Eastern SkyJets — which already operate from DWC. As with Dubai International, DWC will operate 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Free shuttle services
Dubai Airports will be providing free shuttle services between Dubai Airport (DXB) and DWC for the convenience of passengers. The shuttle buses already commenced operations from April 24. These busses are large fleet ones and are able to transport a large number of people and their baggages between the airports.
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will continue to provide a fully integrated ground transportation solution for Al Maktoum International with a regular bus service from key locations in Dubai and a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport. Dubai Airports will also provide an express bus service every 30 minutes between the two airports.
Other UAE airports
To meet passenger requirements, local airports like the Sharjah International Airport will handle an additional 200 weekly flights from the first week of May.
Ali Salim Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority, said: “Sharjah International Airport is gearing up to meet with this new demand, both with regards to resource and infrastructure. Recently, the airport appointed 100 passport control officers, and opened 20 additional check-in counters to ease the travel and immigration formalities, as well as providing additional temporary gates to endure smooth and fast completion of the procedures.”