Emirates To Cut 41 Flights During Dubai Airport Runway Upgrade

The 80-day renovation programme at the airport will begin on May 1.



Dubai’s flagship carrier Emirates faces losing revenue of Dhs1 billion ($272 million) when it reduces flights to 41 destinations from Dubai International Airport during work to upgrade and refurbish the two runways, it said on Thursday.

The 80-day programme of work will start on May 1 with Emirates taking the brunt of reductions in flying, as it accounts for about 50 per cent of the traffic from the airport, the airline said in a statement.

“There will be an impact on our revenues to the tune of approximately 1 billion dirhams,” said Tim Clark, the President of Emirates Airline.

“We have to take the long-term view and manage the short-term pain,” Clark said, adding that the upgrade would add much-needed capacity to the airport.

The airline will ground 20 aircraft in May, 22 in June, and 22 in July, it said in the statement.

Emirates, which competes with regional carriers like Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, reported a flat first-half profit in 2013 due to high fuel costs and currency headwinds.

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

However, it plans to divert some flights to the emirate’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.

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