Emirates Restores Regular Flight Scheduling After Storm Chaos

An Emirates A380 taxies as the sun rises.
Photo Credit: Emirates

This week, Emirates faced a unique operational challenge as the United Arab Emirates experienced its heaviest rainfall in 75 years.

The record-breaking storm, which began on Tuesday, April 16th, brought torrential rain and fierce winds that significantly impacted activity across the UAE.

While Emirates 24/7 hub in Dubai remained operational, safety concerns led to a reduction in flight movements.

Flooded roads further hampered operations, making it difficult for passengers, crew, and airport personnel to reach the airport. The conditions delayed the delivery of essential supplies like meals and amenities.

Overview of Emirates Actions to Date

Understanding the significant disruption this severe weather caused, Emirates prioritized both passenger safety and minimizing travel disruptions.

An Emirates A380 on the runway.
Photo Credit: Emirates

Tim Clark detailed the actions taken:

  • Prioritizing Safety: Dozens of flights were strategically diverted on Tuesday to ensure passenger safety by avoiding the worst of the weather.
  • Managing Flight Operations: Over the next three days, nearly 400 flights were cancelled and many others experienced delays as staffing and supply shortages impacted our hub operations.
  • Customer Care in Action: Top priorities were the well-being of impacted passengers and restoring our flight schedule. To free up resources for customer care, we temporarily suspended check-in for departing Dubai passengers, placed an embargo on ticket sales, and halted connecting passenger traffic into Dubai.
  • Rebooking and Repatriation Efforts: We significantly bolstered our airport and contact center teams with additional resources to assist with rebooking disrupted passengers. We also added flights to destinations with large numbers of stranded travelers, ensuring they could reach their final destinations as quickly as possible.
  • Passenger Support on the Ground: Over 100 dedicated employee volunteers provided on-site support to affected passengers at Dubai Airport. These volunteers prioritized medical cases, elderly travelers, and other vulnerable individuals, ensuring they received the assistance they needed. To date, we have secured over 12,000 hotel rooms for stranded passengers in Dubai, distributed 250,000 meal vouchers, and provided essential supplies such as drinking water and blankets.
  • Restoring Operations Behind the Scenes: Thousands of dedicated employees across Emirates worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get our operations back on track as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Restoration of Normal Scheduling

Clark confirmed that as of Saturday, April 20th, the airline has successfully restored its regular flight schedules.

Emirates cleared the backlog of stranded passengers in the transit area. Passengers were rebooked on new flights and are now heading to their intended destinations

“We understand that some disruption remains,” Clark acknowledged.

To reunite passengers with their belongings, a dedicated task force was formed. They are actively sorting, reconciling, and delivering the approximately 30,000 pieces of luggage left behind during the disruption.

Closeup of Emirates tailplane
Image Credit: Emirates

“Clearing this backlog will take some additional days, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work diligently to reunite you with your belongings,” he said.

“We acknowledge that our response was not without shortcomings. We understand the frustration caused by congestion, limited information flow, and confusion in the terminals.”

“Long wait times and queues were unacceptable, and we are committed to learning from this experience. We are already conducting a thorough review of our processes to ensure improved communication and passenger support during future disruptions”


Clark reiterated the airline’s commitment to its customers during the restoration process. He went on to express sincere gratitude to the teams across Emirates, along with suppliers and partners, for their tireless efforts throughout the challenging week.

“Finally, on behalf of myself and everyone at Emirates, we once again apologize to each and every customer impacted by this disruption,” he said in closing.

“We remain dedicated to providing you with the exceptional travel experience you expect, upholding our promise to Fly Better. We appreciate your continued understanding and look forward to welcoming you on board soon.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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