The first flight has taken off from the new purpose-built Airbus A380 concourse at Dubai International Airport.
Part of the airport’s Terminal 3 complex, Concourse A will become the home of Emirates’ A380 fleet, as well as providing a base for Qantas’ A380s when the Australian carrier re-routes its European operations via Dubai next year.
Initially four A380 gates have opened at Concourse A, with early operations forming part of on-going trials before the facility officially opens during the first quarter this year.
“This is an historic and momentous occasion, marking another world first from Emirates. The new A380 hub is another example of Emirates being a leader in providing innovative products and services that give customers an unsurpassed travel experience,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman & CEO, and Chairman of Dubai Airports. “We are confident that our customers will find the new concourse to be a remarkable world class facility befitting of our flagship Emirates A380 aircraft.”
Covering 528,000m² spread across 11 floors, the new concourse will be able to handle 15 million passengers a year. It also offers a large duty free area, food courts, cafes and restaurants, plus a spa, hotels and the largest first class and business class lounges in the world. Passengers can access the new concourse via underground trains and shuttle busses from Terminal 3.
Emirates is the world’s largest A380 customer, having ordered 90 of the double-decker aircraft and taken delivery of 31.