275 Indian flights to cancel Dubai trip as runway to shut from May 1

Indian carriers are cutting more than a third of about 275 weekly flights to Dubai as one of the two runways at its airport — the world’s second busiest — remains shut for nearly three months starting May 1.
The carriers have either cancelled flights or rescheduled them to Sharjah, which is half an hour from Dubai executives at IndiGo, Jet Airways, Air India and SpiceJet told ET.
On the other hand Emirates will cancel 21 weekly flights out of its total of 185 to India.
Travel company executives said while the point-to-point traffic will shift to Sharjah, the hub traffic, the primary bread and butter for the airport and its carrier Emirates will go to competitors.
The reduction is however unlikely to have a significant impact on passenger traffic flying to Dubai for theIndian Premier League as UAE will host matches only till April 30. The remaining matches will be played at venues in India.
The flight reductions from India will have the clearest impact on the airport’s international traffic. India contributed the biggest chunk — 8.4 million — of 66.43 million passengers handled by the Dubai airport last year.
“So while some of the through passengers will go to Abu Dhabi on Etihad, the rest of them will either go to south east Asian carriers for the US routes or European carriers such as Lufthansa and British Airways,” said Manoj Samuel, director at Riya Travels, one of India’s biggest brick and mortar travel agencies.
Etihad operates 84 weekly flights to 10 cities in India, while Singapore Airlines operates 63.
Starting May 1, Dubai will close its Southern Runway for routine maintenance till end of the month and the Northern Runway till July 20 once the first one becomes operational, thereby effectively operating one runway for 80 days.
The move will reduce its daily capacity by 25%, the airport said in a presentation. The airport handled 3,69,953 aircraft movements in 2013, up 7.5% from the previous year.
“IndiGo will be operating from the Dubai airport with some reduction of frequencies from Delhi and Mumbai. We currently operate 56 weekly flights from 6 cities to Dubai which will be reduced to 37 weekly flights from 6 cities,” said a spokesperson for the airline.

Jet Airways has shifted about 18 flights from Mangalore, Delhi and Mumbai to Sharjah, while SpiceJet while filing its summer schedule diverted 14 of its 42 weekly flights from Dubai to Sharjah.
Air India has taken out 17 of its Dubai flights while its subsidiary Air India Express, which has the highest number of flights to Dubai has diverted 27 of them from Amritsar, Jaipur, Lucknow, Pune, Mangalore and Trichy to Sharjah.
Reproduced from: The Economic Times


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