Dubai’s first low-cost airline, flydubai aircraft at the Dubai International Airport. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Flights to at least 39 destinations operated by flydubai will move from their current base at Dubai International airport to Dubai World Central (DWC) in Jebel Ali next year, to pave way for runway repairs at the emirate’s main aviation hub.

For 45 days next year, from April 16 to May 30, Dubai International airport (DXB) will close the southern runway for upgrade works, and during this period, there will be a significant reduction in aircraft movements.

Considering that there will be only one runway working for more than 30 days, airlines have been asked to cut down on flights. 

flydubai announced on Thursday that it will operate flights to 39 destinations  from Al Maktoum International Airport in DWC during the 45-day period of the refurbishment project, to ensure minimum disruption to passengers’ travel plans.

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“As we saw in 2014, runway enhancement programmes continue to support the long-term vision for aviation in the UAE. With flydubai flights operating to select destinations from DWC, we aim to not only support this vision but to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible to travel across our network with minimum disruption,” said flydubai’s chief executive officer, Ghaith Al Ghaith.

Flights affected

The flights that will be operating from DWC during the repairs include those bound for Alexandria, Delhi, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kuwait, Mumbai and Riyadh.

Flydubai said the affected flights will resume their operations at DXB once the runway enhancement project is completed on May 30 next year.

Flights to all other flydubai destinations will continue to operate from DXB. The budget carrier has a network of 92 destinations across more than 40 countries.

Emirates confirmed in July that it will drop some of its flights and reduce the frequencies on certain routes during the maintenance period.

Customers have been advised to keep themselves up to date with flight schedules, as changes are now underway.

“During the runway closure period, Emirates will cancel certain flights, reduce frequencies to some destinations and re-time some flights based on slots availability at DXB,” a spokesperson had said.

Dubai Airports confirmed in February that it will undertake some repair works next year in order to strengthen and resurface DXB’s southern runway and adjacent taxiways.

The project will include the placement of about 60,000 tonnes of asphalt and 8,000 cubic metres of concrete.

Dubai Airports had earlier said it would provide incentives to global carriers to move some of its operations to DWC during the repairs.

“Any carrier relocating flights to DWC during the runway closure period, including Indian airlines, will not be charged landing and parking fees, and will also have reductions made to other operational costs at DWC,” Khalil Lamrabet, director of aviation business management at Dubai Airports, said in April.

Back in 2014, the airport’s northern runway was shut down for a major refurbishment. The hub's capacity was reduced by 26 per cent for 80 days, as a result.

List of destinations operating from DWC from April 16 to May 30, 2019:

(Flights to destinations marked with an asterisk will be available from both DXB and DWC during the same period)