Dubai International runway upgrade ahead of schedule

Work on the southern runway finished four days early, as Dubai Airports chief says operations have been 'smooth' so far.
Runway upgrading at Dubai International Airport is running ahead of schedule. Photo courtesy Dubai Airports
Runway upgrading at Dubai International Airport is running ahead of schedule. Photo courtesy Dubai Airports

Dubai International Airport said yesterday that it had completed work on the southern runway four days ahead of schedule.

“These additional days will be used for work on the northern runway, which is now closed for refurbishment and will remain so until July 20,” Dubai Airports said in a statement.

Since May 1 the airport’s runways have been undergoing repairs. Emirates Airline, the biggest operator out of Dubai International, said it would take a Dh1 billion hit to its revenues for the duration of runway repairs at the airport.

The carrier has grounded 20 aircraft this month and will ground 22 next month and in July.

“While there is still a lot of work to be done, by August we will be well placed to resume the strong growth achieved so far this year with new runways that can accommodate more aircraft while improving efficiency and service to our passengers,” said Paul Griffiths, the chief executive of Dubai Airports.

In April, passenger numbers at Dubai International stood at 6.15 million, slightly down from March, but up 13.7 per cent year-on-year. During the first four months of 2014, passenger traffic rose 11.9 per cent to 24.5 million, up from 21.9 million in the same period last year.

The airport operator said the highest growth in passenger numbers was from Western Europe in April. That was followed by the Indian subcontinent, driven by growth in passenger traffic from the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Islamabad.

Cargo volumes in April were up 3.7 per cent year-on-year to 207,317 tonnes. For the first four months of 2014, the total volume reached 821,193 tonnes, up 4.6 per cent year-on-year.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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