Airlines Choose Between Dubai World Central and Sharjah International


Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central
Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central (DWC)

Dubai: Airlines have been spoilt for choices over where they will operate from during the Dubai International runway repair works that start in May. Some have chosen to test-drive Dubai’s newest airport, Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central, while others have opted to head to Sharjah International.

Philippine Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei and flydubai are some of the airlines which have confirmed operations from Al Maktoum International. Whereas Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Cebu Pacific will operate from Sharjah International.

Dubai Airports previously said that it is providing free landing for passenger airlines and free parking for up to six hours for airlines moving to Al Maktoum International during the 80-day period.

However, Sharjah International, which is roughly 20 kilometres from Dubai International, is proving more feasible for some airlines.

“Jet Airways has an existing base in Sharjah, thus for convenience of our guests, select flights to Dubai will now operate to Sharjah,” an airline spokesperson stated.

SpiceJet, which could not be reached for the comment, also has an existing base in Sharjah.

Al Maktoum International, meanwhile, is roughly 65 kilometres south of Dubai International.

Earlier this week, Adel Ali, Group chief executive of Sharjah-based budget carrier, Air Arabia, said travellers in the Gulf are spoilt for choices when it comes to airports, which he said, have some of the world’s best infrastructure.


A shift to Al Maktoum International could provide airlines with a preview of what it will be like to operate from the airport. It opened to passenger traffic in late 2013. And Wizz Air, Gulf Air, Jazeera Airways and Qatar Airways all operate regular services out of the airport.

The airport’s current capacity is 5 to 7 million passengers a year and will be expanded over the next six years to 160 million as Dubai bids to become a super aviation hub.

Dubai International has said it will cut 26 per cent of flights from May 1 until July 20 when scheduled runway repairs take place.

All airlines have so far said they will shift their operations back to Dubai International once the runway repair work is complete.


International logistics company, DHL Express, previously said it will keep its daily service slot at Dubai International; however, its joint-venture Aerologic will temporarily shift its twice-daily flights to Sharjah.

FedEx has said that it will split its operations between Dubai International and Al Maktoum International.



Cebu Pacific Diverts To Sharjah During Dubai Airport Runway Closure

Sharjah International Airport

Low-cost carrier Cebu Pacific Air has announced that all its flights to and from Dubai will be diverted to Sharjah during the temporary runway closure at Dubai International Airport this summer.

The airline, which launched daily Manila-Dubai flights in September last year, said that during the period May 1 – July 20, 2014, the Dubai route will be operated out of the Sharjah International Airport.

The carrier will contact guests booked in its Dubai flights during this period and inform about their changed flights, Cebu said in a statement.

Passengers can either opt for a free rebooking within 30 days from the original departure date, a full travel fund or a refund.

“Those with checked baggage and onward connection within Sharjah International Airport or those who require transfers to Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport will only be accommodated during this interim period if a valid UAE entry visa is presented upon check-in,” the statement said.

In May last year, Dubai Airports announced that it would be undertaking a massive runway enhancement project at the Dubai International Airport for 80 days. Both the northern and southern runways will undergo a phased refurbishment and upgrade.

Most flights are expected to be diverted to the new Maktoum International Airport during this period, according to authorities.


Flight Number Route Days ETD ETA Dates
5J 7990 Manila – Sharjah Monday /Wednesday/ Thursday/Friday/Saturday 1420H 1920H May 1 – June 30
5J 7991 Sharjah – Manila 2050H 0920H
5J 7990 Manila – Sharjah Monday / Thursday / Friday / Saturday 1420H 1920H July 1 – 20
5J 7991 Sharjah – Manila 2050H 0920H

Source: Aarti Nagraj, Gulf Business

PAL Express (2P) Increases Dubai Flights

Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai World Central (DWC)

MANILA, Philippines – The low cost unit of Philippine Airlines (PAL) is increasing its Dubai flights by the end of this month.

In a statement, PAL Express said it would fly 6 times weekly to Dubai from Manila starting March 30. It would fly to the Middle Eastern country using its Airbus 330-300 aircraft everyday, except Thursday.

The additional flight would cater to growing passenger demand. Dubai is a major destination for overseas Filipino workers.

PAL Express also announced that it would temporarily land at the Al Maktoum International Airport (airport code: DWC) beginning May to give way to the refurbishment of the runway of the Dubai International Airport (airport code: DXB).


DWC is less than 45 minutes away from DXB and the emirate’s tourist and commercial districts. Arriving passengers at DWC can take the RTA bus to IBN Battuta Metro Station, which easily connects to Dubai’s Metro Rail System. PAL Express said it would resume landing at DXB on July 20.


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