May 25, 2024, 7:55 pm


Staff Correspondent

Published:
2024-04-19 09:33:44 BdST

150 Bangladeshi Umrah pilgrims stranded at Sharjah airport


150 Bangladeshi Umrah pilgrims bound for Chattogram have found themselves stranded at Sharjah International Airport due to flight disruptions caused by heavy rain and unprecedented floods in the United Arab Emirates.

The passengers, originally scheduled to board Air Arabia flight G9-526 from Madinah to Chattogram, were halted in transit at Sharjah International Airport at approximately 9 pm on Tuesday.

Among the stranded passengers is Jubayer Aktar, who, along with four family members, was returning home to Chattogram’s Korbaniganj from Madinah. 

He expressed the plight of the stranded passengers, noting that approximately half were women and children enduring considerable distress.

“We are sitting adjacent to the no. 7 arrival gate at Sharjah International Airport. Being stuck with women and children members of the family, we are pushed into a hapless situation.

We are provided with food only but our plight has multiplied as the airline authorities haven’t arranged hotel rooms for us,” he said.  

When contacted, the Second Secretary of the Bangladesh consulate in Dubai Sajjad Zahir said normal air traffic has been disrupted due to heavy waterlogging at the Dubai and Sharjah airports and the roads adjacent to them.

“Flights of many airlines, including Emirates, Egypt Air, and Air Arabia are stuck due to the water rising onto the runways of the Dubai and Sharjah international airports,” he said.
According to him, it is impossible to reach the stranded passengers physically due to inclement weather.

“We have extended our apologies to those Bangladeshi passengers who are in trouble and are trying to communicate with them,” he said, adding that the congestion may ease gradually when the rain stops and the water is cleared from the runway.

Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, and some parts of Abu Dhabi have seen unprecedented rain. Many areas saw continuous rain from Monday night to Tuesday night – a sight unseen in 75 years.

The UAE’s meteorological department recorded 254mm of rainfall, which is equivalent to the amount of the country’s total rainfall for two years.

1,244 Dubai flights cancelled

Meanwhile, a total of 1,244 flights were cancelled, and 41 were diverted at Dubai International (DXB) until Thursday morning due to runway flooding after Tuesday's incessant rains, reports Khaleej Times.

On Thursday morning, the airport resumed partial operations out of Terminal 1 after the operational disruption caused due to flooding.

The world’s busiest international airport is working hard to mitigate the impact of the adverse weather for normal operations within 24 hours.

“We are collaborating with strategic partners and local authorities to mitigate the impact of this crisis and expedite the recovery of normal operations within the next 24 hours,” the spokesperson said.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Dubai Airports urged passengers “Not to come to Terminal 1” unless necessary and also before confirming their flight status with airlines as re-booking facilities were not available at the airport.

“Due to the unprecedented weather recently experienced in the UAE, flights at DXB continue to face delays or cancellations. Dubai Airport advises passengers against visiting Terminal 1 unless they have received confirmation from their airline regarding their flight departure. Due to crowding, access to Terminal 1 is now strictly limited to passengers with confirmed departures. There are no rebooking facilities available at the terminal, and guests are urged to contact their relevant airline for the latest flight information,” it said in a statement.

Dubai Airport said on Thursday that Dubai International (DXB) has resumed inbound flights of international airlines operating out of Terminal 1 DXB.

However, it said that flights continue to be delayed and disrupted following the recent unprecedented weather in the UAE.

“Passengers due to depart from T1 DXB should only come to Terminal 1 if they have a confirmed flight booking,” Dubai Airports said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

Earlier, Emirates airline also asked passengers departing Dubai to come to the airport only if they have a confirmed flight booking. It extended the suspension of check-in for passengers departing from DXB to 9 am on Thursday, April 18, due to operational challenges as well as problems faced.

In addition to local airlines Emirates and flydubai, some foreign airlines such as EgyptAir, Sri Lankan Airlines, and others were also forced to temporarily suspend flights until the situation improved at the flooded runway.

The UAE recorded its heaviest rain in 75 years on Tuesday, flooding across many residential districts of Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi and others. As a result, the government has encouraged private sector entities to allow their employees to work from home. Residents were unable to go out in their vehicles also because of submerged roads.

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