Dubai: Dubai Airports, which manages the emirate’s two airports, will start shuttle services between Dubai International and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central (DWC) from April 24.
The shuttle services will be put in place as select airlines briefly shift to Dubai’s secondary airport for 80 days starting May 1, owing to runway repairs.
The two airports are roughly 65 kilometres apart — a journey that takes almost one hour.
The airlines, which include Royal Brunei and Malaysia Airlines, are moving to DWC because of scheduled runway maintenance at Dubai International. The necessary runway work, due to be completed by July 20, will cut 26 per cent of flights at Dubai International.
A Dubai Airport’s spokesperson confirmed that the free shuttle bus will depart each airport every 30 minutes. The Road Transport Authority (RTA) has two existing bus services, F55 and F55A, connecting Al Maktoum International with Ibn Battuta Metro and Al Satwa Bus Station.
However, passengers travelling between the two airports will not be exempted from visa requirements. The UAE, unlike some countries, does not require passengers to obtain transit visas. But this is only applied when a passenger is not required to pass through passport control.
The Dubai Airports spokesperson confirmed that passengers transiting between the two airports will have to pass through immigration and custom checks at both ends.
Airlines are looking to minimise any impact on passengers travelling during this period.
Nur Shaiffik Haris, Malaysia Airlines UAE and Gulf General Manager, confirmed that all of its operations will temporarily shift to DWC. Malaysia Airlines operates Kuala Lumpur-London services via Dubai. Royal Brunei, which operates Brunei-London services via Dubai, will operate London-bound flights through Al Maktoum International. Brunei-bound flights will fly through Dubai International.
Other airlines, such as flydubai, which is temporarily shifting select services, traditionally relies on point-to-point travel rather than transit passengers.