Dubai-Doha flights: No baggage allowance for Fifa World Cup match-day shuttle service
Flydubai and Qatar Airways will operate up to 120 match-day shuttle flights from Dubai World Central from November 20
As the Dubai Airports prepares to welcome a massive influx of passengers at Dubai World Central with the match-day shuttle flights to Doha for Fifa World Cup next week, it has advised match-goers to check all necessary requirements with their respective airlines before arriving at the airport.
Flydubai and Qatar Airways will operate up to 120 match-day shuttle flights, which begins from November 20. The shuttle flights will fly in and out of DWC everyday between November 20 and December 19, shuttling football fans to Doha to enjoy the game and return to Dubai.
“It is mandatory for travellers to hold a valid match ticket and the Hayya Card to board match day shuttle flights. The baggage allowance for passengers using the shuttle service is limited to hand luggage as per their class of travel, and no checked luggage will be accepted except wheelchairs and strollers,” according to Dubai Airports.
The Dubai-based low-cost carrier plans as many as 30 round-trip flights a day during the World Cup, shuttling fans between Al Maktoum International Airport at DWC to Doha International Airport.
Some soccer fans said they’ll be commuting to Qatar during the world cup on 45-minute flights from Dubai. Other match-goers plan to sleep on cruise ships or camp out in the desert amid a feverish rush for rooms in Doha.
3-fold rise in passengers
The 26.5-million-passenger-per-annum capacity terminal at DWC is already fully operational with the whole array of airport services, food and beverage and retail outlets as well as Dubai duty free, serving existing charter operations by multiple international carriers for the ongoing winter season.
The launch of the match-day shuttle flights and additional charter flights connected to the Fifa World Cup games are expected to increase the passenger demand at DWC three-fold over the coming weeks. Passenger numbers at the airport are forecast to surpass 494,000 in the final three months of the year.
“A spike in demand of this magnitude would pose a challenge for any airport, but we have had some recent practice. In May-June this year, we orchestrated the almost flawless temporary relocation of more than 1,000 flights a week from Dubai International (DXB) to DWC for the 45-day long DXB northern runway rehabilitation project, while managing an exceptionally strong recovery throughout,” Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said.
“The collaborative spirit within the airport community here in Dubai is strong and it will go into overdrive in the coming weeks to convert this challenge into a great opportunity,” said Griffiths.
RTA plans special service
Dubai Airports will be deploying a dedicated front-line team to facilitate efficient processing at every service touchpoint, ensure a consistently smooth experience and on-time departures.
“More than 60 check-in counters, 21 boarding gates, 60 passport control counters (departures and arrivals) and 10 smart gates, and four baggage belts on arrivals will be operational throughout the period to cope with the anticipated surge in demand,” according to the Dubai Airports.
Road Transport Authority (RTA) will also launch a dedicated bus service operating every 30 minutes around the clock between DWC and the Ibn Battuta Metro Station and Expo City Metro Station. RTA taxis will also be available as usual, and travellers driving to DWC will be able to use the airport’s 2,500-vehicle capacity car park free-of-charge.
Chartered flights in demand
Flydubai and Qatar Airways will also be operating chartered flights to cater to the passenger demand for the Fifa World Cup matches in Qatar. Other chartered flight operators such as DC Aviation Al Futtaim also noticed a spike in requests for private jets to Doha as football fever kicks in ahead of the world cup.
“We have seen a sharp increase in enquiries for the later stages of the tournament from the first week of December until the finals which take place on December 18 at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium. We are closely monitoring the level of enquiries and are well prepared with our offering,” said Holger Ostheimer, managing director of DC Aviation Al-Futtaim.