Dubai Airports today cleared up one lingering doubt over its upcoming 80-day runway repairs programme at Dubai International: all Emirates flights will continue to operate out of the city’s premier airport.
This decision will be welcomed by UAE-based travellers, who may have wondered which airport they were heading to, and be especially welcome for the airline’s numerable transfer passengers, who won’t have to hop on a shuttle to Dubai World Central.
But passengers travelling on 14 airlines through DWC will need to keep their wits about them from May 1.
Eight relocating airlines include flydubai, PAL Express, Jet Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Yemenia Airlines, Equatorial Congo Airlines, Malaysia Airlines or Ural 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 and will continue to operate during the 80 days.
Both airports will be under scrutiny. Flights at Dubai International will be reduced by 26 per cent but the challenge will be ensuring the remaining 74 per cent operate on schedule on one runway. Passengers and residents have also been warned to expect extra construction-related road traffic which may also increase travel times.
DWC, while not facing pressing issues of volume and capacity, will nonetheless be facing its first stern operational test as the 14 airlines operate more than 600 arriving and departing flights a week. A “luxury courtesy shuttle” will run every 30 minutes between the two airports and buses to and from Ibn Battuta Mall.
The upgrade work at Dubai International will start on the southern runway (May 1-31), followed by the northern runway (May 31-July 20). Alongside the upgrading of runway lighting, work will see additional taxiways and rapid exits on the southern runway.