Ask Finder: What happens to Emirates during the Southern Runway closure?
Here's what to do while Dubai is operating with a single runway.
Indeed, the Southern Runway at Dubai International Airport is being closed between 16 April and 30 May 2019 for key maintenance work. The main work is resurfacing the runway itself, a task that is trickier for Dubai than many other locations as the airport operates 24/7. The maintenance has been deliberately scheduled for a relatively less busy period for airlines, particularly Emirates, which is the biggest user of the airport.
Emirates (and other airlines) have reduced their services through Dubai by around 43% during this period. That said, if you do have a booking during this time, it's not going to be cancelled because of the runway work since planning for this closure has been ongoing for more than a year. You can safely assume some flights will be busier than usual, and that your odds of an upgrade using Skywards or Qantas points are a little lower than normal.
Emirates' key advice to passengers is to make sure that they're at the airport in plenty of time for their flights, as that will ensure on-time departures for all services in and out of Dubai. The recommendation is to be at the airport three hours ahead of your flight time, which is what I would recommend doing in any case.
"Gates close 20 minutes before departure and timings are strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule," an Emirates' statement on the plans noted. So even if you're flying in business or first class, make sure you've hit the airport well in advance of your departure.
Emirates' ongoing partnership with Qantas and its high-quality modern aircraft mean it's one of the more popular choices for flying to the Middle East, Europe and beyond. Runway delays at Dubai are unlikely to change that, but bear it in mind if you are using the airline over the next six weeks.
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