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DXB in Recovery After Crash Landing of Emirates Flight EK521

Unsurprisingly, the incident involved considerable disruption to flight schedules and passengers, but clearing the backlog is now the airport’s top priority.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is back to operating capacity after Emirates Flight EK521 crashed-landed and caught fire on the runway on Wednesday afternoon.

All passengers and crew on-board the Boeing 777 were able to escape via the craft’s emergency exit slides, but one firefighter, who has been named as Jasim Issa Mohammed Hassan, was killed as he helped to tackle the fire.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, DXB’s operating body, was quoted by the Khaleej Times as referring to Hassan as a “brave soul who died in the line of duty”.

DXB was closed in the immediate aftermath of the crash and Griffiths also confirmed that the tarmac was slightly damaged in the incident. At present, the airport is operating with a single runway.

Griffiths has said that the shell of EK521 has been moved and that, “…the concentration now is to recover operations over the next few days.”

Not surprisingly, the incident resulted in numerous cancellations, delays and diversions. In a statement on its website, operator Dubai Airports confirmed that, “…a total of 116 arriving and 121 departing flights were cancelled and a total of 44 inbound flights were diverted to neighboring airports following the incident involving EK521…”

It added, “The disruption of normal operations yesterday affected a total of 19,000 passengers before DXB resumed operations under restricted capacity at 1830hrs.”

In terms of this latter point, Griffiths explained that, “We are prioritizing the recovery of the passengers that are currently within the terminal. As you can imagine there are a lot of people, a lot of crew and a lot of aircraft that are out of position, so for operation at Dubai International Airport to recover to normal schedule, it will take a little time.”

Dubai Airports confirmed this stance and said that, “The airport is expected to be on recovery mode for the next 48 hours with efforts in full swing to clear the backlogged flights.”

[Photo: Al Arabiya]

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