Dubai airport renovation will force 300 flights to relocate
More than 300 flights a week are expected to depart from Al Maktoum International during runway refurbishment, according to Dubai Airports.
The 80-day runway upgrade of Dubai International Airport will reduce the number of flights by 26 per cent and eight airlines will be relocated to Al Maktoum International Airport, the airport operator confirmed on Sunday.
All Emirates flights will continue to operate out of Dubai International but its sibling flydubai will relocate 25 destinations to Dubai’s second airport during the upgrade period from May 1 to July 20, 2014.
More than 300 flights a week are expected to depart from Al Maktoum International during runway refurbishment, according to Dubai Airports. “However for total passenger flights, including arrivals and departures, the number of flights increases to more than 600,” the operator explained.
Flight movements at Al Maktoum International are set to increase dramatically as eight airlines that currently operate from Dubai International have reserved slots to operate from Dubai’s second airport during the 80-day period and those include flydubai, PAL Express, Jet Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Yemenia Airlines, Equatorial Congo Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Ural Airlines.
“We have planned this project to optimise capacity while protecting service levels and, in conjunction with Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines and other stakeholders, have deployed all the resources necessary to make it as smooth and seamless as possible. …. These upgrades are necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future expansion,” Dubai Airports chief executive officer Paul Griffiths said in a statement.
In order to keep up its long-term growth and competitiveness, this temporary programme of runway work will hit traffic for the duration, according to a senior aviation analyst.
“But once the work is completed, there will simply be no stopping Dubai International Airport decimating and replacing London Heathrow Airport as the world’s busiest airport even before 2015 ends,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at London-based StrategicAero Research, told Khaleej Times.
A flydubai spokesperson said: “The approach that has been taken will minimise disruption to passengers during this period and operating some of our flights from Dubai World Central will bring capacity to an otherwise constrained market. We have had advance notice of these works and planned for the effective deployment of our aircraft and route development, giving our passengers more choice to travel during this time.”
The project involves the resurfacing of the entire 4,000-metre long northern runway, which is nearing the end of its design life, as well as the upgrading of runway lighting and construction of additional taxiways and rapid exits on the southern runway.
Airport operators said that passengers and residents in the vicinity of the airport should be prepared for extra construction-related road traffic which may also increase travel times to and from Dubai International.