Dubai airline Emirates has said it is set to begin implementing measures to ensure ‘operations remain smooth’ during the southern runway closure at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The 45-day runway refurbishment at DXB will take place from Tuesday, April 16 until May 30.
“Emirates has been working hard to implement measures to further maximise operational efficiencies at DXB,” it said in a statement.
The airline has said many of its flights will be cancelled and rescheduled during the runway closure. A total of 48 of its aircraft will not be utilised, with a 25 per cent reduction in the overall number of flights operated during the 45-day period.
Some of the operating aircraft will also be changed to reduce the impact on passengers.
Operational initiatives during the runway closure period include: procedures for efficient, quick aircraft turnarounds; reducing vehicle movements on the ramp; efficient movement of cabin and flight deck crews to the aircraft; faster transit passenger flow procedures, predictive aircraft maintenance, and prioritising operationally restricted flights.
To ensure ‘on time performance’ (OTP), Emirates said it will reduce instances of flight delays and disruptions in Dubai and across its destination network.
The airline said it is also placing a “substantial emphasis” on communication to its passengers through several channels, to keep them accurately informed of their flight’s status.
Passengers travelling during the 45-day period have been urged to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight departures. They can also check-in 24 hours ahead of their flights at the airport and check-in online from 48 hours to 90 minutes ahead of their departure.
Passengers have also been advised to get to their boarding gates on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure for long-haul flights, and Emirates has extended the opening time at its gates for short-haul flights to 75 minutes (instead of 60 minutes).
For flights departing to the US, gates open 120 minutes before departure.
Gates close 20 minutes before departure and timings are strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule. These time checks have been put in place to ensure minimal delays during this period, the statement said.
“Meticulous planning has been going on for over 14 months, involving collaboration across functions ranging from flight operations, Emirates airport services, Emirates SkyCargo, Emirates flight catering, service delivery, engineering, commercial operations and planning, contingency response teams, dnata as well as with external stakeholders, to optimise operations, as well as build in operational flexibility and resilience to mitigate possible disruptions at every juncture,” the airline added.
Emirates stressed that the runway closure is happening during one of the “quieter operational times” of the year.
“It will be critical to increasing the long-term capacity of Dubai International Airport and maintaining the high-level service levels of the airline, especially ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai and the influx of visitors expected during that period,” the statement added.