UAE flights suspended, diverted by heavy rains: All you need to know

Here are the latest updates from airports and airlines as the country deals with the record rain's aftermath


Waheed Abbas


Ajanta Paul

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AFP photo
AFP photo

Published: Wed 17 Apr 2024, 12:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Apr 2024, 11:57 PM

Flights to and from the UAE took a hit as the country received its heaviest rainfall in 75 years on Tuesday. Airport services were disrupted while airlines delayed, cancelled, and diverted scores of flights.

With repair work underway as unstable weather conditions ease on Wednesday, some flights have resumed operations while other carriers are still advising flyers to be wary of possible disruptions.

If you're flying in or out of the country, here's a guide to the latest flight updates today, April 17:

10.39pm: Emirates extends suspension of check-in for passengers till Thursday

Emirates airline late on Wednesday extended the suspension of check-in for passengers departing from Dubai till 9 am on Thursday, April 18, due to operational challenges for travellers coming to the Dubai International (DXB) airport.

Recognising the challenge for passengers, the airline said it is working to secure accommodation and other amenities for the passengers at the airport.

8.21pm: Limited access to DXB terminal 1

Only passengers with confirmed departures are allowed to enter DXB's terminal 1 "due to crowding", the airport said.

Travellers are urged to check their flight status first.

6.41pm: DXB recovery will take time

Dubai Airports on Wednesday said “recovery will take some time” after record rains flooded the runway of DXB.

Travellers who are flying out of the airport in the coming days are advised to stay in touch with their airlines and check the status of their flights.

Departing travellers are struggling to reach the airport while those arriving find it challenging to leave terminals due to flooding, the authorities said.

“We’re continuously working hard with our emergency response teams and service partners to restore normal operations as quickly as possible and provide support for guests. Flights are delayed and some diverted with many airlines impacted by displaced crew,” it said.

Read the full report here.

4.20pm: AUH fully operational

Flying out of Abu Dhabi? Don't worry, Zayed International Airport (AUH) is fully operational.

In an advisory shared on X on Wednesday, AUH assure passengers that it "continues to fully operate smoothly" amid unstable weather conditions.

Travellers, however, are advised "to regularly check with their airline for the latest information about their flights".

"Allow adequate time to arrive at our airport considering road closures and traffic delays," it added.

3.07pm: EgyptAir flight suspensions

EgyptAir temporarily suspended flights between Cairo and Dubai on Wednesday due to flooding at DXB.

The Egyptian carrier said the flights will remain suspended until weather conditions improve and it becomes feasible to resume operations.

“Due to the bad weather conditions in Dubai, which resulted in the suspension of air traffic, EgyptAir gas announced a temporary suspension of its flights between Cairo and Dubai and vice versa until the weather conditions in Dubai improve and aircraft are allowed to land and take off again,” the national carrier of Egypt said in a statement on social media platform X.

It asked passengers to contact the airline’s customer services or approach it through its landline or website for further information.

2.15pm: SriLankan Airlines cancels DXB flight

SriLankan Airlines cancelled its flight from Colombo to Dubai on Wednesday due to the situation at Dubai International Airport.

The national carrier of Sri Lanka’s flight to Dubai was diverted to Abu Dhabi airport on Tuesday due to adverse weather.

“SriLankan Airlines flight to Dubai from Colombo was diverted to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday due to bad weather and it’s still on the ground in Abu Dhabi, awaiting crew clearance to go back to Colombo. Due to the situation in Dubai right now, we have decided to cancel today’s (Wednesday) flight from Colombo to Dubai,” Shiran Kretser, country manager for UAE at SriLankan Airlines, told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

“We request passengers to check alerts on our website and also monitor updates we send on passengers’ contact details shared with the airline,” said Kretser.

12.17pm: Flydubai resumes partial operations

Dubai carrier flydubai has resumed partial operation from Dubai International airport (DXB) on Wednesday after heavy rains disrupted its operations on Tuesday evening.

“Flydubai has resumed partial operations from Dubai International (DXB) from 10am," it said in a statement.

"Select outbound flights will operate from Terminal 2 at Dubai International (DXB) with scheduled operations resuming after 8 pm (Dubai time, while flights from Terminal 3 are scheduled to resume after midnight.”

On Tuesday evening, flydubai suspended all its flights scheduled for departure from Dubai. The airline did not accept passengers who did not have Dubai as their final destination.

“Due to the impact of the severe weather conditions in the UAE on our operations and the ongoing challenging road conditions, there have been further flight cancellations today. We are working very hard to restore our operating schedule and minimise the disruption to our passengers’ travel itineraries to get them to their final destination safely. We apologise for the inconvenience caused as a result of the adverse weather,” the airline’s spokesperson told Khaleej Times.

Flydubai on Tuesday said passengers who hold bookings that have been cancelled would be offered a full refund.

9.59am: Scenes at DXB

AFP checks on the situation of passengers at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Long queues were seen at a connection desk:

Some are seen double-checking the status of their flights:

Others are waiting at the bays:

8.45am: No check-ins for Emirates

Emirates airline suspended check-in for passengers departing Dubai. Passengers should expect delays in departure and arrivals.

AFP file photo
AFP file photo

“Emirates is suspending check-in for passengers departing Dubai effective 08:00hrs on April 17 until midnight (00:00hrs April 18) due to operational challenges caused by bad weather and road conditions,” the airline’s spokesperson said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

Read the full report here.

8.27am: Don't come to the airport, please

DXB, one of the world's busiest airport, on Wednesday issued a unusual public advisory: Do not come — unless absolutely necessary.

Those travelling through the airport are urged to check the status of their flights flights before coming in.

Flights continue to be delayed and diverted, it stressed.

Read the full advisory here.

1.47am: What about Etihad flights in Abu Dhabi

In Abu Dhabi, the national carrier Etihad Airways advised passengers of potential delays today, April 17, due to unstable weather.

"Guests are advised to regularly check for the latest information about their flight departure and allow plenty of time to travel to the airport," it said in a statement.


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