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Dubai World Central to pick up slack during Dubai International upgrade
Dubai World Central will see a sharp increase in traffic from late April onward

Dubai World Central to pick up slack during Dubai International upgrade

Dubai World Central will see the number of passenger flights skyrocket by 700 per cent as it takes on additional traffic during the 45-day period when the southern runway at Dubai International is closed for a complete refurbishment.

The work will take place from April 16th until May 30th.

The closure will reduce the hub airport’s capacity making Dubai World Central the logical alternate to absorb affected scheduled, charter, cargo and general aviation operations.

Although Dubai International will effectively be without half of its runways, the actual reduction in passenger flights will only be 32 per cent thanks to an optimised schedule that will see the northern runway used to 96 per cent of its capacity.

Due to the deployment of larger aircraft by some airlines during the closure period, the number of seats will only decrease by 26 per cent.

Finally, thanks to the additional capacity provided by Dubai World Central, the number of flights across the Dubai Airport system will see a reduction of just ten per cent and a seat reduction of just 11 per cent.


The schedule has been almost a year in the making as Dubai Airports engaged all airlines in April last year to adjust their schedules versus the six-month period typically required by IATA/ICAO.

An independent slot coordinator was appointed to oversee this process and rules were applied equally to all passenger airlines.

The timing of the closure further minimises impact as the holy month of Ramadan is typically the quietest period at Dubai World Central in terms of traffic.

“We’re pleased that we have managed to maintain as much choice as possible for customers,” said Paul Griffiths, chief executive, Dubai Airports.

“The most significant change for passengers during the period will be the need to confirm the airport that they travelling to or from.

“That said, we’re confident customers and airlines will be impressed by the speed, efficiency and convenience of Dubai’s second airport. 

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase Dubai World Central’s newly expanded facilities that can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually and we’re confident that it will shine.”

During the 45-day period, Dubai World Central will see an average of 158 passenger flight movements per day operated by two charter carriers and 16 scheduled airlines including flydubai, Wizz Air, Aeroflot, Condor, Air India, Air India Express, Indigo, SpiceJet, Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian, Himalaya Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, Nepal Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Salam Air, Mahan Air, flynas, and Azur Air.