NAT-Dubai-airport-runway-1555239318505
A spokesperson for Dubai Airports confirmed that Dubai International was to “fully reopen” later on Thursday. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Dubai International Airport is on track to open its southern runway on Thursday evening after it was closed 45 days for refurbishment works. The closure of the runway, one of two at the airport, led Emirates to cancel many flights, while flydubai moved some of its flights to the city’s second airport, Al Maktoum International (DWC).

A spokesperson for Dubai Airports confirmed that Dubai International, one of the world’s busiest, will “fully reopen” later today. Airlines also said that their operations will be back on track at the airport.

Flydubai said its flights that were moved to DWC have resumed as planned from Dubai International. “Flydubai’s aim was to provide passengers with as much choice and with minimum disruption during this period, and we have had positive feedback from our passengers about their travel experiences,” a spokesperson for the low-cost carrier said.

Emirates said that it will be resuming the regular operating schedule, which includes over 1,700 flights a week. A spokesperson for the airline also said Emirates plans to ramp up operations to several regions from June 1, including destinations in Europe and Africa.

The carrier had said at the time of the closure that it will have to cancel or re-time a “significant number” of its flights due to the runway closure. In January, it said it will ground up to 48 of its aircraft and reduce the number of flights it operates by 25 per cent.

Before the runway shut down, Dubai Airports explained that the southern runway was “nearing the end of its design life” and required resurfacing, upgraded lighting, and other modifications to accommodate future traffic. Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said earlier that the upgrade is “absolutely necessary” to heighten safety, capacity, and pave the way for more growth.

Spokespeople at the airport also said that May was typically “the quietest period in terms of traffic,” especially this year as it coincided with Ramadan when demand for travel is relatively low.