Dubai: The landing accident involving an Emirates aircraft on Wednesday has resulted in a major disruption in Dubai airport operations, with more than 200 flights cancelled and thousands of passengers affected as a result.
Travel agencies and operators in Dubai have also been swamped with passenger complaints as they frantically search for alternative flights. Many of those who missed their trips from Dubai were holidaymakers bound for Europe and other neighbouring countries.
“We’re quite busy today with customers requesting for rebookings and cancellations,” said one travel operator on Thursday.
Dubai International's runways were shut down for a few hours after the accident, causing delays and cancellations of more than 100 flights. Nearly six hours later, the airport resumed operation with one runway.
“We received complaints from our customers after the unfortunate incident. [About one-third] of the calls we received have been complaints as a result of the Dubai airport shutdown,” said Digvijay Pratap, co-founder and managing director of HolidayMe.
Pratap said at least 100 of their customers in Dubai had missed their outgoing flights.
“Most of the customers [affected] have been ones that are traveling to Europe -including Switzerland, France, Spain – and Middle East (Jordan and Egypt),” he added.
Dubai Airpots said a total of 19,000 passengers wree affected on Wednesday alone.
“The disruption of normal operations yesterday affected a total of 19,000 passengers before [Dubai International Airport] resumed operations under restricted capacity at [6:30pm],” Dubai Airports said in a statement sent to Gulf News. An official of Emirates later said that the number of affected passengers had reached 23,000 as of Thursday evening.