By Neil Halligan
Dubai Airports CEO said focus is on trying to recover the flight schedule as quickly as possible
Dubai International Airport continues to operate at 50 percent capacity following yesterday's crash landing involving an Emirates flight from India, the CEO of Dubai Airports has said.
The aircraft, with 300 passengers and crew on board, caught fire after it crash landed at Dubai International Airport on Wednesday.
The incident led to significant delays at the world's busiest international airport, following the closure of one of the runways.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said the airport was awaiting clearance from the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) before recommencing full operations. He said the aircraft has been secured and the GCAA has been on site and “is making progress”.
"We’re still on a single runway operation until we get the all-clear that we can actually move the aircraft," Griffiths told Dubai Eye radio's Business Breakfast show on Thursday morning.
"What we’re now doing is getting as much information updated as possible so customers who are still within the airport can get information about their flight as quickly as possible.
"Clearly, with only one runway, we’re operating at 50 percent of our normal capacity and our priority at the moment is to get as many aircraft that are in ‘the hold’ [in the air] onto the ground and get as many aircraft away as we possibly can prior to the opening of the runway, whenever that is."
He said customers looking to travel today should contact their airlines to ensure they get the latest flight information and know when is the best time to come to the airport.
"Clearly, the first thing was to deal with the incident, to make entirely sure that all the passengers affected were cared for and dealt with properly, and once that situation had been stabilised, then obviously the recovery of the flight schedule and getting the many thousands of passengers that are currently in our terminals away to their destinations – that remains our principal priority now," Griffiths said.
He said immigration officials have confirmed that anyone affected by the disruption and has had outstayed their visa as a result will be not face charges.
"We intend to make it absolutely clear that we want to make sure the welfare of our customers is our first priority so that the anxiety anyone may have, I hope we will be able to address," he said.
Griffiths said the airport's wi-fi has been upgraded to ensure passengers are able to make contact with family and friends, and volunteers are on hand to help passengers at every stage of their journey.
"We’ve upgraded the wi-fi – the [providers] have given us significant additional bandwidth as an emergency measure so that people can contact their friends and family. We’ve got thousands of volunteers from all over the place helping us within the airport, helping to address any information needs anyone has."transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.