Dubai airport reopens runway in time for busiest day of the year, the Eid getaway

Airport at full capacity hours before more than 80,000 passengers are expected to fly out

FILE - In this April 20, 2017 file photo, Emirates planes are parked at the Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The airport said Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, that it remains the world's busiest for international travel and that it welcomed over 89 million passengers in 2018. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

Dubai International Airport has reopened its refurbished runway just hours before the world's busiest international airport was due to commence the Eid getaway.

More than 80,000 people are expected through the airport on Friday, its busiest day of the year.

The airport announced it was back to full capacity on Thursday night after a 45-day closure of its southern runway for essential maintenance.

Dozens of construction workers have been working around the clock to complete the work in time for Friday.

The first plane, an Emirates Boeing 777, landed at 17.45pm from Seattle on the new tarmac.

During the runway refurbishment programme more than 18,500 truckloads of concrete, asphalt, materials and personnel were driven to and from the airport.

At peak times, more than 90 construction vehicles an hour entered and left the airport.

During the closure, traffic at Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International, increased by nearly 700 per cent.

Those travelling on Friday are advised to double check from which airport they are due to fly.

Emirates is encouraging passengers to turn up at least three hours before their departure time to avoid any delay.

“Peak travel is expected to continue until Monday, June 3, with more than 309,000 Emirates passengers travelling from Dubai during this period of time,” the airline said.

It said passengers checking in less than 60 minutes before their departure time will not be accepted for travel, although passengers can check in at the airport up to 24 hours before their flights leave.

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