Low-cost Gulf carrier Flydubai is set to operate out of Dubai World Central Airport (DWC) temporarily next year. The move will happen between April 16 and May 30, 2019 and is due to a 45-day closure of the Southern Runway (12R-30L) at Dubai International Airport (DXB).The airline will operate flights to 39 destinations from its temporary base at DWC; however, at the same time, they also plan to serve 10 of those destinations from their remaining capacity at DXB.
Runway Improvements At DXB
DXB has decided to close its southern runway for much-needed improvements and maintenance work. With hundreds of flights using the airport every day, the runway needs to be strengthened and resurfaced. Work will not be limited to the runway only, but also the surrounding taxiways will receive similar upgrades as the runway.
Closing down one of the two runways at the airport will cause some serious disruption to one of the busiest airports in the world. DXB expects to lose 43% of its capacity for the duration of the improvement work.
Emirates And Flydubai Take The Biggest Hit
The two airlines most negatively impacted by the closure are Emirates and Flydubai. Even though DXB handles 1,100 aircraft movements per day, the main disruption will fall on the shoulders of Flydubai and to a much larger extent Emirates. Tim Clark, the President of Emirates, said to ATW:
“will take the biggest hit simply because it is our base, our hub.”
Fortunately, the closure of the runway is to coincide with the Islamic month of Ramadan, when there is a significant decline in demand for travel.
DWC Move Test Drive
A move of 39 destinations out of the 92 Flydubai serves represents quite a big test for the company. Although Flydubai will probably take the opportunity of being forced to move over 42% of its destinations to DWC as a test run for when they eventually move to the new airport. One has to wonder if the test drive works smoothly, will it possibly accelerate the option for both Flydubai and Emirates to move their operations to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC).
In the long run, it is almost certain that both Flydubai and Emirates will move to DWC. The airport will be the biggest in the world and is part of a 280sqkm complex. Also, it expects to be able to handle up to 240 million passengers per year. To put that into perspective that is more than double the current largest airport in the world that handles just over 100 million passengers per year. After years of delays with the DWC, perhaps finally things are starting to speed up!