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Dubai International Airport (photo: Visit Dubai)

30% fewer seats to Dubai due to runway closure

Dubai International is closing a runway for 45 days, starting yesterday, but some flights are being diverted to a secondary airport.

Available airline seats at Dubai International Airport are likely to fall by 29% as it refurbishes a runway, the news agency Bloomberg writes.

The authority Dubai Airports began the 45-day long upgrade of the southern runway at DXB, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers, yesterday. It will last until May 30.

Dubai is home to Emirates, the world’s biggest airline for international passengers, which has been preparing to reduce the number of its flights by 25% during the runway closure.

“The runway is nearing the end of its design life and requires a complete upgrade to accommodate future traffic growth,” it declared.

Some flights will be shifted to the secondary Dubai World Central airport in an effort to minimise the impact. This will ease the decline in the number of seats across Dubai by 20%.

Lengthy planning
“Planning and preparations have been underway for almost two years in close coordination with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines, dnata, the regulator and a host of other service partners to make sure this massive project goes off without a hitch,” explained Dubai Airports’ chief executive Paul Griffiths.

Dubai World Central will handle an average of 145 passenger flights per day, operated during the period by airlines such as flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Ukraine International Airlines, Ural Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways and flynas.

Dubai Airports promises that Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority will provide “a fully integrated ground transportation solution” for DWC, with a regular bus service from key locations in Dubai and “a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport and offering discounts” throughout the closure period.

Dubai Airports will also have a free bus service operating between DXB and DWC every 30 minutes, departing from DXB terminals 1, 2 and 3.

Don’t be late
Emirates has said in a statement: “On time performance, OTP, is a key factor for smooth operations and a consistent customer experience on the ground and in the air, and is even more critical during the Southern Runway Closure with all flights at Dubai International utilising a single runway.”

Customers, it says, are encouraged to arrive to the airport early and build in enough time to check in, pass through immigration and get to their gates.

“Customers are reminded to arrive to the airport at least three hours before their flight departures, and passengers can check-in as early as 24 hours ahead of their flights at the airport. Customers can also check-in online from 48 hours to 90 minutes ahead of their departure,” it added, stressing that gates close 20 minutes before departure.

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