Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 8 July 2020

Dubai airport in 'recovery mode' after storms spark weekend of disruption

More than 20 flights were either delayed or cancelled due to fierce 45kph winds and severe flooding

Dubai International Airport is in 'recovery mode' after fierce storms lashing the emirate led to a string of cancelled and delayed flights.

The knock-on effect of two days of severe travel disruption was still being felt by airline passengers well into Sunday.

Airport chiefs said they are battling a scheduling backlog as they bid to get operations back to normal.

We’ve been trying to get information on our flight online. It could be delayed as there is still a big backlog from Saturday and Sunday

Robert Pilzek

Travellers with Emirates heading to Mumbai, Munich, Lahore, Dhaka, Amsterdam, Birmingham, Phuket and Sydney all faced delays ranging from two to four hours to their original scheduled flight time.

Flyers with the Dubai carrier were asked to check their flight status before leaving for the airport and encouraged to arrive three hours before their departure time.

Emirates apologised for the delays in an online statement and directed passengers to its website for updates to travel times.

“The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and will not be compromised,” a spokeswoman said.

Access roads to Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, were flooded for much of Sunday morning, restricting access and reducing traffic to a crawl.

Inside the terminal building, coffee-shops were doing a booming trade as delayed passengers could only patiently sit and wait for updates.

Those facing cancellations due to the torrential rain and high winds were automatically rebooked on the next available flight with Emirates.

Robert Pilzek, 62, was returning to Krakow in Poland with his wife, Marta, after three weeks in Dubai.

“We’ve been trying to get information on our flight online, but as we are not travelling until Monday morning there is not much to go on yet,” he said.

“It could be delayed as there is still a big backlog from Saturday and Sunday.

“We came to the airport to see if we could get some direct information from staff here, but they can’t tell us much yet.”

It was a similar situation with passengers with Fly Dubai.

The airline faced considerable disruption to its flight schedule on Sunday, cancelling at least 13 flights.

Another facing a lengthy airport wait was Mohamed Khan, who was due to fly to Lahore with on Sunday afternoon.

“The board said my flight was four hours delayed, but I was told this could change so all I can do is wait it out,” he said.

A spokesman for Dubai Airport said operations were gradually returning to normal later in the day, but the facility was in ‘recovery mode’ as it aimed to catch up with cancellations and delays.

“Most of the backlog of flights has been cleared, but it is taking time because of the ongoing weather conditions,” he said.

A total of 22 flights were cancelled from DXB overnight, with one flight diverted to Dubai World Central due to high winds and flooding.

Updated: January 12, 2020 06:09 PM

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