Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport is set to carry more passengers over the next month than it usually handles in a year as a result of southern runway refurbishment at Dubai International Airport (DXB) from April 16 to May 30, according to Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths. Speaking to Dubai One TV on Wednesday, Griffiths said DWC was “handling the influx of passengers very well indeed”.
Additional information from Dubai Airports said that DWC was handling 145 flights per day, which is seven times what it usually receives and is expecting to welcome 800,000 passengers during the 45-day refurbishment at DXB.
“Our customers are experiencing the convenience and ease of using DWC,” he said. “And despite the fact that we’ve reduced the services at DXB by about 32 per cent, the actual drop in the number of seats available is only about 19 per cent because of the extra flights we’ve put on at DWC.
“There’s free transportation between the two [airports] and anyone living south of the palm is actually nearer to DWC than DXB, so I think it’s a good opportunity for people to experience our brand new airport.”
Asked why the refurbishments needed to take place on the southern runway at DXB, he replied: “Well you can imagine with aircraft weighing several hundred tonnes touching down every few seconds there’s been a lot of life in the existing runway but that too has to come to an end as we refurbish and of course the runway is not just 4.5-km of tarmac, it’s many thousands of lights (5,500) and hundreds of miles of cables (800-km) that have to be renewed.
“Being a 24/7 airport we don’t have the benefit of a closure window, so we had to find a way of deploying 1,900 dedicated staff to make sure the programme can be executed precisely over the course of 45 days without interruption to service.”
Griffiths added that DXB would “hopefully push the 90 million mark” in terms of passengers in 2019, whereas DWC would go over a million “obviously helped by the southern runway refurbishment programme at DXB”, adding that DWC “should comfortably exceed that figure during the course of 2019.”