DWC passenger flights to soar as one DXB runway closes temporarily

Dubai International Airport is closing southern runway for refurbishment, reducing one of the world’s busiest hub’s aircraft handling capacity

Passenger flights at Al Maktoum International Airport will rise by seven times over period. Courtesy DWC
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Dubai World Central, the emirate’s mega aviation facility, will see the number of passenger flights rise as much as seven-fold as it takes on additional traffic during the refurbishment of Dubai International Airport’s (DXB) runway.

Dubai Airports, which manages and operates the both DWC and DXB is closing DXB’s southern runway for a 45-day period between April 16 to May 30 this year, which will reduce one of the world’s busiest airport’s aircraft handling capacity.

However, DWC will operate as an alternate hub to absorb affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations, Dubai Airports said on Monday.

Although DXB will effectively be without 50 per cent of its runways, the actual reduction in passenger flights will only be 32 per cent thanks to an optimised schedule that will see the northern runway used to 96 per cent of its capacity. Due to the deployment of larger aircraft by some airlines during the closure period, the number of seats will only decrease by 26 per cent and, with additional capacity provided by DWC, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of only 10 per cent and a seat reduction of 11 per cent, it said.

“We have managed to maintain as much choice as possible for customers,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase DWC’s newly expanded facilities that can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually and we’re confident that it will shine.”

The most significant change for passengers during the period will be the need to confirm the airport that they travelling to or from, he noted.

The schedule to manage the closure period has been almost a year in the making as Dubai Airports engaged all airlines in April last year to adjust their schedules. An independent slot coordinator was appointed to oversee this process and rules were applied equally to all passenger airlines, the company said.

The timing of the closure further minimises impact as the Holy Month of Ramadan is typically the quietest period at DXB in terms of traffic, it noted.

During the 45-day period, DWC will see an average of 158 passenger flight movements per day operated by two charter carriers and 16 scheduled airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Condor, Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian, Himalaya Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Salam Air, Mahan Air, flynas, and Azur Air.

Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority will also provide ground transportation solutions for DWC with a regular bus service from key locations in the emirate and a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport. Dubai Airports will also have an express bus service operating between DXB and DWC every 30 minutes departing from DXB Terminals 1, 2 and 3, it said.