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Pakistani airlines, PIA and Airblue reeling from the chaos brought by storm at Dubai International Airport

A flooded Dubai airport and Emirates jets in the background. The weather is still bad and things are slowly coming back to life. Photo: Salam Al Amir @salamalamir

Pakistani airlines especially PIA is facing major scheduling issues because of its planes that are stuck at Dubai international airport after a severe storm disrupted flight operations on Friday night and Saturday. According to a statement issued by PIA spokesperson Abdullah Khan, multiple PIA flights are still stuck at Dubai airport. As its planes are stuck at Dubai airport the airline has to cancel several other flights as the knock-on effect continues to punish its flight schedule.

PIA flights PK214 to Karachi, PK212 to Islamabad, PK222 to Multan, PK224 to Lahore and PK204 to Faiusalabad are still stuck at Dubai airport after over 12 hours. As the planes were deployed on follow-on flights PIA has to cancel PK304 and PK306 from Karachi to Lahore, PK341 from Karachi to Faisalabad. PK305 from Lahore to Karachi will depart with a delay of 24 hours while PK308 from Karachi to Islamabad will depart with a delay of 6 hours.

Traffic jam and clogged roads mean travelling to and from the airport is very difficult.

Due to bad weather forecast in Dubai PIA has changed its schedule. According to changed schedule PK213/214 Karachi-Dubai-Karachi, PK235/235 Islamabad-Dubai-Islamabad, PK283/284 Peshawar-Dubai-Peshawar are cancelled. PIA is communicating this information to its passengers on their provided contact number while those who have not provided such details are requested by the airline to contact its call centre.

On the other hand, PIA has changed equipment on certain flights to cater to an increased number of passengers and clear the backlog. Now PK211/212 on Islamabad-Dubai-Islamabad and PK203/204 on Lahore-Dubai-Lahore will be operated by a Boeing 777.

This kind of experience is unprecedented at Dubai airport.

Dubai airport was a scene of chaos where multiple planes kept waiting on taxiways and tarmac as parking bays were drowned, creating a shortage of gates. Multiple flights were cancelled and those that managed to land struggled to get to gates.

Dubai airports authority in an updated it’s advisory “operations at DXB continue to be hampered by the knock-on effects of today’s heavy rainfall resulting in a number of flight delays, cancellations & diversions. We continue to work closely with our partners to restore full operations & minimise inconvenience to our customers. However, with additional rain expected later this evening, the disruption is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. Customers are advised to check directly with their airlines for more specific flight information and allow additional time to get to the airport”.

The water is up to waist level at some points and it will take time for this amount of water to clear up.

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