Qantas may be forced to plan for a dramatic reduction in its services through the hub due to critical runway works at the Middle East hub.
Qantas has confirmed it is facing changes to its Dubai schedule for three months from May next year as repair works on the airport’s two runways are undertaken. The rapid growth of A380 services at Dubai has prematurely stressed the runways, necessitating urgent remediation works.
All airlines including home carrier Emirates are facing significant reductions in the number of available slots during the works, meaning Qantas’s twice daily return services to and from London could be reduced to one return service a day.
The airline has been lobbying hard to protect its slots, sensitive to the reputational impact the movement restrictions may have as Qantas and Emirates work hard to bed down their alliance. In a statement Qantas said: “We expect to operate all our scheduled flights through Dubai, though some departure and arrival times may be adjusted slightly.
“(We are) working with Dubai Airport and Emirates on minimising the impact important runway works will have on our operations.
“The runway works are still nine months away and we plan to have our slot allocation finalised in the next few weeks,” Qantas said.
Qantas operates four flights a day (28 per week) through Dubai Airport comprising Sydney-Dubai-London and Melbourne-Dubai-London daily returns.