LONDON – Passenger numbers at Dubai World Central are set to soar this year as Dubai international airport prepares to close its southern runway for 45 days for a much-needed refurbishment.

The airport published plans to refurbish the airport’s southern runway this year.

The runway will be shut for a 45 day period starting on April 16 to May 30 which will see the airport have to cut its traffic numbers down to allow it to match its capabilities.

The airport has said that despite only operating on a single runway they will only see a passenger number reductions of around 32 per cent thanks to the airports detailed and pre-planned optimised schedule which will see the airport use the northern runway up to 96 per cent of its capacity.

The airport said that these low reductions of passenger number have been made possible by some airlines deploying larger aircraft on reduced schedules to the airport, such as Emirates who will be primarily operating A380s.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports said: “We have managed to maintain as much choice as possible for customers, It’s a great opportunity to showcase DWC’s newly expanded facilities that can now accommodate up to 26.5 million passengers annually and we’re confident that it will shine.”

He went on to say that the most important thing for passengers to do before they travel is to note which airport they will be operating from.

The airport said that they planned the closure for this period as it is the quietest period for the airport and minimised the impact the closure will have on Ramadan.

It is believed that during the 45-day closure that Dubai WorldCentral will see an estimated 158 passenger flight movements per day, the airport operated 29,959 flight movements at in 2018 which was a 12.4% drop when compared to 2017.

The airport has also confirmed that during this period of maintenance that they will be operating regular bus services from DWC to DXB departing from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 every 30 minutes, there will also be a dedicated fleet of taxis serving the airport.

It will be interesting to see the numbers at the end of 2019 for Dubai World Central and how much that is offset with Dubai International Airport in terms of losses and gains.