By Andy Sambidge
A total of 14 airlines, including flydubai, will have reserved slots for flights at emirate's second airport
Flights will be reduced by 26 percent at Dubai International while a runway upgrade project is carried out, starting next month, it was announced on Sunday.
Dubai Airports said in a statement that all Emirates flights will continue to operate out of Dubai International during the 80-day upgrade period, while a total of 14 airlines, including flydubai, have reserved slots at Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central, the emirate's second airport.
“Emirates has a close working relationship with Dubai Airports and is aware of the need for runway upgrading work to be carried out from May 2014 for an 80 day period at Dubai International Airport. We fully support the airport enhancements, which are in the wider interests of Dubai’s development as a global aviation hub. Emirates has been working closely with Dubai Airports and all stakeholders in preparation for the upgrading works, and we have adjusted our operations accordingly for the period," an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement added the Dubai airline will continue to operate to all its worldwide destinations during the runway closure period. However, it confirmed it is planning to park some aircraft and some routes will be operated by larger models in order to compensate for the reduced frequency.
A total of 18 aircraft in May, 20 in June and 21 in July – a mixture of A330s, A340s and B777s - will be parked, while all A380 aircraft will remain in service.
"On routes where we’ve had to reduce frequency, we have upgraded to bigger aircraft where possible to recover part of the capacity. There are also small changes to the timings of some of our flights. All of Emirates operations will remain at Dubai International Airport. As planned, Emirates SkyCargo freighter operations will be dispatched from Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) starting from the 1st May," the statement added.
Dubai Airports confirmed all systems are go for the comprehensive runway upgrade project set to be launched at Dubai International on May 1 to boost safety, service and capacity levels at the world’s second busiest international airport.
The upgrade work will last 80 days during which the runways will be closed alternatively – the southern runway from May 1-31, and the northern runway from May 31 to July 20.
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.
More than 300 flights a week are expected to depart from DWC airport during this period.
Paul Griffiths, Dubai Airports CEO said: “We have planned this project to optimise capacity while protecting service levels and, in conjunction with constructors Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, airlines and other stakeholders, have deployed all the resources necessary to make it as smooth and seamless as possible.
"While we regret any inconvenience caused to our airline customers and our passengers, these upgrades are necessary to heighten safety, boost capacity and pave the way for future expansion.”
During the 80-day period, Dubai Airports is urging passengers to double-check with their respective airlines’ websites to confirm their airport of departure or arrival.
A fleet of luxury courtesy shuttle buses will operate every 30 minutes for passengers connecting between the two airports.
I think to be far the headline should read "after the introduction of a reduced schedule no Emiratess flights will be affected "
Also I am not sure why you would have to reserve slots at DWC, the place is empty.
Safety is first. but the period chosen by the authority to upgrade the runway is totally wrong. Because it will be the high season with the school holidays and Eid Al Fittr holidays.