Abu Dhabi: The information screen at Abu Dhabi International Airport on Tuesday was flooded with data that could not be displayed at the same time due to an overlap in departure and arrival timings.
Since the airport was announced closed for 12 hours due to maintenance work on a crack found on the side of the runway, travel agents and various airlines, especially Etihad Airways, have contacted passengers and informed them of their re-scheduled flights, either through e-mail, phone or text messages.
The Abu Dhabi International Airport completed maintenance work in just four hours, and the airport resumed its operations at 7am, with the first flight, of Etihad Airways, taking off at 9.10am.
In spite of passengers being well informed of the delay, there was an overlap of 17 flights arriving between 14:15 and 14:45 hours.
There was a rush due to 14 departures in 45 minutes, between 15:30 to 16:15 hours. Some of the flights were headed to Damascus, Amsterdam, Cairo, Dubai, Islamabad and Kuwait.
A number of visitors waiting for their loved ones to arrive and passengers ready to depart had a harrowing time, having to rush to information desks to re-confirm their flight schedules, which were not displayed on the screen due to the overlap.
"This is the first time we have such a large number of flights arriving in a time span of less than half an hour. So most people are double-checking if the re-scheduled flights are on time, since many of the flights may be delayed by another five to 10 minutes, if not more. There is no possible way timings can be accurate today," said a spokesperson at the information desk at the airport.
Ayman Sulaiman waited for his daughter at the airport for a good two hours.
"This is the first time my 10-year-old daughter Roaa has travelled alone. When I was informed of the delay in schedule, I decided to wait two hours before the flight's arrival because you never know, the flight may be re-scheduled again," he said.
Shane Davis and Laura Sheppard, who were travelling to Sydney, spent one night in Abu Dhabi airport due to the delay. "We originally flew from Dublin to Abu Dhabi airport as a stop over. Our airlines gave us a 48-hour notice of the delay and hooked us up in a hotel for one night for free, which is fabulous. We have no complaints, and now we're ready to fly to Sydney."
Hesham Saeed arrived from Egypt via Bahrain through Egypt Air. His flight was two hours late. He was informed of the delay.
"I was supposed to start work tomorrow but the delay has changed my schedule. It's a bit embarrassing because tomorrow was supposed to be my first day at work, but the delay isn't really my fault."
Jim Mcdermt was flying to Islamabad for business. "My flight was slightly delayed. If the airlines wouldn't have informed me about the delay in advance, it would have really bothered me and disturbed my schedule."