Closure of Runway at Dubai International Airport: Has It Affected You?

An airplane operated by Emirates Airline rests at the beginning of a runway at Dubai International Airport just before takeoff. Photograph by FlyerTalk member SAtraveller. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by SAtraveller.

Newark International Airport and San Francisco International Airport — please refer to number four in the answers to an April Fool’s Day quiz posted here at The Gate — are not the only airports with currently closed runways due to construction and rehabilitation, as Dubai International Airport has joined in on the “fun” with one runway currently closed for repairs until approximately Saturday, July 19, 2014 in order to “create more capacity and a better airport experience” for passengers.

The runway closure has reportedly resulted in the changing of the flight schedule of Emirates Airline for the summer, as Dubai International Airport is the hub airport for Emirates Airline. Flights to and from North America have apparently not been affected by the closure of the runway; but flights to and from Europe, Africa, Asia and other areas of the Middle East have supposedly been impacted — with a range from slight delays to outright cancellations.

“EK reduces 30% of their flight capacity in May/June”, posted FlyerTalk member CalFlyer. “That must be a financial disaster for them.”

Here is a suggested recommendation posted by FlyerTalk member JTXC: “One possibility might be to cross into Jordan the afternoon before you want to travel, and spend one night in Amman, taking the 902 AMM-DXB.”

FlyerTalk member airbus3888 reported: “Day two and so far so good – reports from crew friends suggest that delays at peak times are no worse than normal – indeed most reports are that the holds have been shorter or non existant.”

Confirming that the impact of the runway closure has indeed been minor at best up to this point, FlyerTalk member vienna-resident had “experienced DXB yesterday during the runway closure, I’m surprised how well they are coping with the reduced capacity. No holding or departure delay at all.”

FlyerTalk member pomkiwi apparently also concurred with the assessments: “Last week caught a mid afternoon flight. Traffic to the airport was light and no delays at J check-in or security. Only difference is that boarding started early and final call went up at t-40. By t-30 almost everyne was boarded. Got away and arrived on time.”

While the impacts of the runway closure do seem to be minimal due to proactive measures implemented by Emirates Airline, you should allow for and expect delays if you plan on being an airline passenger on a flight originating or terminating at Dubai International Airport, just in case — and leave yourself extra time at the airport for early boarding.

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