Dubai announces new A380 airport terminal opening
Phased opening of Concourse A starts; first Emirates flight departs
Dubai Airports has announced the phased opening of Concourse A, the world's first A380 facility at Dubai International's Terminal 3.
The airport operator said four of its 20 contact gates were brought into operation on Wednesday with Emirates Airline's EK 003 flying from Dubai to Heathrow becoming the first flight to use the facilities.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports said: "Just as we did with what turned out to be a flawless opening of Terminal 3 and Concourse B in 2008 - which was a much larger and more complex exercise involving the complete transfer of Emirates airline's operations to the new facility - we are opening Concourse A in stages with more gates coming online in each successive phase.
"We believe that this approach of gradual transition will enable us and all our partners to ensure smooth operations and help us to deliver on our customer service commitment."
He added that as the world's first A380 facility Concourse A was a "huge achievement for Dubai Airports and its partners".
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group and chairman of Dubai Airports, added: "This is an historic and momentous occasion, marking another world first from Emirates.
“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."
Concourse A has a total of 528,000 sq m space spread across 11 floors and the capacity to handle 15 million passengers a year.
A critical element of the $7.8bn Strategic Plan 2020, Concourse A is part of the Terminal 3 complex exclusively built for the use of Emirates airline.
It will provide Dubai International Airport the much needed room as its passenger traffic approaches full capacity.
Dubai International's annual passenger capacity will increase from 60 million to 75 million when Concourse A is fully operational, while traffic for 2012 is expected to reach 57 million.