DUBAI: Emirates airline will continue to serve all of its worldwide destinations during the 80-day period of runway upgrading works at Dubai International starting May 1.
However, it has had to reduce flights to over 40 destinations, and change timings on some of its flights.
These changes will not impact customers booked to fly between May and July, as the flight schedules have been planned and implemented months ahead of time.
Customers or travel agents searching for flight options on Emirates will only see those flights that are available.
“Customers who have booked to fly with us, or are considering to fly with us during this time, can be assured that it is business as usual,” said Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline.
“On routes where Emirates has had to reduce frequency, we have upgraded to bigger aircraft where possible to recover part of the capacity,” he said.
“We have done a lot of preparation work behind the scenes together with all airport stakeholders, to ensure that there will be as little inconvenience to our customers as possible, and we look forward to resuming our full schedule of flights in July,” said Clark.
“As the biggest operator at Dubai International accounting for about 50 percent of traffic, of course we have had to take the biggest hit in reducing flights. There will be an impact on our revenues to the tune of approximately AED 1 billion,” he said.
Clark said: “However, we understand the need for this upgrading work to be done, and we support it wholeheartedly. It will add much-needed capacity to the airport, and having world-class infrastructure ultimately means a better experience for customers. So we have to take the long-term view and manage the short term pain,” he added.
Emirates will ground 20 aircraft in May, 22 in June, and 22 in July, as Dubai Airports launch a comprehensive runway upgrade project which will see both runways at Dubai International close alternatively for resurfacing and other enhancement works.
During this time, Emirates has plans for its own upgrading projects, taking advantage of its “grounded fleet” to perform engineering maintenance and onboard enhancements, ensuring its award-winning fleet operates at top form.
These works include phased upgrades to its GCS (Global Communications Suite), an initiative that requires approximately 2,200 man hours of mechanical and avionic work per aircraft.
The parked aircraft also provides operational flexibility for an ongoing fleet-wide inflight entertainment system and cabin maintenance improvement campaign. In addition, the Emirates Engineering team will carry out its first-ever landing gear change to a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the start of a program which will eventually involve over 70 other Boeing 777s.
The landing gear change work occurs once every 10 years in the aircraft’s lifespan.
All Emirates passenger flights will continue to operate from Dubai International Airport (DXB) during the runway upgrading period from May 1 — July 20, while its freighter operations will move to Al-Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) on May 1 as planned.