Get your bags packed - Emirates Airline says December 19 to be busiest day of the year
The country’s two big airlines are bracing for what they expect to be their busiest holiday season.
Passengers flying this Friday can expect the biggest crowds at check-in desks as thousands of residents head for the airports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Airways and Emirates have urged passengers to check in on time in the run-up to the annual festive rush.
Emirates expects December 19 to be its busiest day, when 80,000 people are booked to travel on 240 flights – which represents a 23 per cent jump on last year.
“We have deployed extra staff at the airport to assist our customers, and we ask all travellers to be aware of check-in and gate closure timings,” said Mohammed Mattar, the divisional senior vice president at Emirates Airport Services. “They should also allow ample time to get through the various touch points at the airport, as check-in and gate closure timings will be strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule.”
Mr Mattar added that customers who check in less than 60 minutes before their scheduled flight departure will not be allowed to board the flight.
Etihad has introduced a series of passenger traffic speeding measures that are due to run through December 24.
They include a “moonlight check-in”, where guests who check in during moonlight hours will get an additional 5kg baggage allowance and 5,000 bonus guest miles.
The airline is also offering a complimentary shuttle bus to transport its guests from the city centre terminal to the airport.
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are investing billions of dollars in expanding their airports to cope with double-digit passenger growth resulting from the rapid expansion of Etihad and Emirates.
Passenger traffic at Abu Dhabi International Airport increased by 17.4 per cent in October, the latest data show. More than 1.69 million people passed through the airport during that month compared with about 1.44 million a year earlier.
Meanwhile, passenger traffic at Dubai International Airport rose 5.7 per cent in October putting the airport on track to eclipse the 71 million passenger mark by the end of the year, according to the latest traffic report issued by the operator Dubai Airports.
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Published: December 16, 2014 04:00 AM