On Time Performance (OTP) is a key factor for smooth operations and a consistent customer experience on the ground and in the air, and is even more critical during the Southern Runway Closure with all flights at Dubai International utilising a single runway. One of Emirates’ key objectives during this period will be to reduce instances of flight delays and disruptions in Dubai and across its destination network. The airline is also placing a substantial emphasis on communication to its customers through a number of channels, to keep them accurately informed of their flight’s status.
Customers travelling during this period are encouraged to arrive to the airport early, and build in enough time to check in, pass through immigration and get to their gates. Customers are reminded to arrive to the airport at least three hours before their flight departures, and passengers can check-in as early as 24 hours ahead of their flights at the airport. Customers can also check-in online from 48 hours to 90 minutes ahead of their departure.
Once customers have cleared check-in and immigration formalities, they are advised to make sure they get to their boarding gates on time. Gates open 90 minutes before departure for long-haul flights, and Emirates has extended the opening time at its gates for short-haul flights to 75 minutes (instead of 60 minutes) to provide ample time for customers to board their flights. For flights departing to the United States, gates open 120 minutes before departure. As always, gates close 20 minutes before departure and timings are strictly followed to ensure flights depart on schedule. These time checks have been put in place to ensure minimal delays during this period.
Joint Efforts to Achieve Operational Excellence
Meticulous planning has been going on for over 14 months, involving collaboration across functions ranging from Flight Operations, Emirates Airport Services, Emirates SkyCargo, Emirates Flight Catering, Service Delivery, Engineering, Commercial Operations and Planning, Contingency Response teams, dnata as well as with external stakeholders, to optimise operations, as well as build in operational flexibility and resilience to mitigate possible disruptions at every juncture.
Taking into consideration the latest flight schedules as well as benchmarking best practices from the Northern Runway closure project in 2014, operational initiatives during the Southern Runway closure period include: procedures for efficient, quick aircraft turnarounds; reducing vehicle movements on the ramp; efficient movement of Cabin and Flight Deck crews to the aircraft; faster transit passenger flow procedures, predictive aircraft maintenance, and prioritising operationally restricted flights.
The Southern Runway closure is happening during one of the quieter operational times of the year, and will be critical to increasing the long-term capacity of Dubai International Airport and maintaining the high-level service levels of the airline, especially ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai and the influx of visitors expected during that period.