Emirates warns it will take several days to clear backlog after last week’s storms

By Lisa James
22/04/2024
Home » Emirates warns it will take several days to clear backlog after last week’s storms

Emirates Airline President Sir Tim Clark has apologised to passengers affected by cancellations and delays because of last week’s severe storms in the UAE.

The airline cancelled nearly 400 flights and delayed ‘many more’, resulting in 30,000 pieces of luggage left behind.

In an open letter on Saturday, Sir Tim said: “As of this morning, Saturday 20 April, our regular flight schedules have been restored. Passengers previously stranded in the airport transit area have been rebooked and are enroute to their destinations. We have put together a taskforce to sort, reconcile, and deliver some 30,000 pieces of left-behind baggage to their owners.

“It will take us some more days to clear the backlog of rebooked passengers and bags, and we ask for our customers’ patience and understanding.”

He said last week was ‘one of the toughest’ for the airline, adding: “I would like to offer our most sincere apologies to every customer who has had their travel plans disrupted during this time.

“On Tuesday 16 April, the UAE experienced its highest rainfall in 75 years. Lashing storm winds and rain disrupted activity across the cities. Our 24/7 hub in Dubai remained open, with flight movements reduced for safety, but flooded roads impeded the ability of our customers, pilots, cabin crew, and airport employees to reach the airport, and also the movement of essential supplies like meals and other flight amenities.

“We diverted dozens of flights to avoid the worst of the weather on Tuesday, and over the next three days we had to cancel nearly 400 flights and delay many more, as our hub operations remained challenged by staffing and supply shortages.”

He ended his letter by saying: “We know our response has been far from perfect. We acknowledge and understand the frustration of our customers due to the congestion, lack of information, and confusion in the terminals. We acknowledge that the long queues and wait times have been unacceptable.

“We take our commitment to our customers very seriously, and we have taken learnings from the last few days to make things right and improve our processes.

“I’d like to also acknowledge and thank our teams across the airline, and our many suppliers and partners for their tireless efforts around the clock this week, despite the challenging conditions, to support customers, recover our network, and bring our operating schedule back to normal.

“Finally and once again, I want to offer, on behalf of myself, and all the teams across Emirates, our apologies to each and every customer affected by this disruption.”

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