Dubai’s Emirates faces $272m revenue hit over grounded flights

Airline says it is reducing flights to over 40 destinations due to Dubai airport runway works

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Emirates airline expects take a Dh1 billion ($272.3 million) revenue hit when it grounds flights due to runway works at Dubai’s main airport, the carrier said on Thursday.

No passengers booked to fly will be impacted by the move to reduce flights to more than 40 destinations, and change timings on some routes, the airline said. Customers searching for flights on Emirates will only see those flights that are available, it added.

Emirates plans to ground 20 aircraft in May, 22 in June, and 22 in July during work to upgrade and refurbish the two runways at Dubai International Airport. It said it would use the opportunity to carry out maintenance works on some aircraft.

“Customers who have booked to fly with us, or are considering to fly with us during this time, can be assured that it is business as usual,” said Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, in a statement.

“On routes where Emirates has had to reduce frequency, we have upgraded to bigger aircraft where possible to recover part of the capacity. We have done a lot of preparation work behind the scenes together with all airport stakeholders, to ensure that there will be as little inconvenience to our customers as possible, and we look forward to resuming our full schedule of flights in July.”

Airport authorities said earlier this week that 26 percent of traffic would be cut at Dubai International during the 80-day runway work, which is set to start on May 1.

Eight airlines will temporarily shift operations to Dubai’s second airport due to the runway works. Emirates is not among them.

The airlines to relocate to Dubai World Central for the 80-day period are: flydubai, PAL Express, Jet Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Yemenia Airlines, Equatorial Congo Airlines, Malaysia Airlines or Ural Airlines.

The airport authority urged passengers flying during this period to check with their airlines as to whether their arrival or departure airport had changed.

Dubai Airports said in the earlier statement that the upgrade works involve resurfacing the entire 4,000-metre long northern runway, as well as upgrading runway lighting and construction of additional taxiways on the southern runway.

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