Dubai opens world's first Airbus A380 concourse

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-1-3 9:44:45

Following a testing phase which lasted for several weeks, Dubai Airports opened Wednesday the world's first terminal solely designed for departures and arrivals of Airbus A380, nicknamed Superjumbo.

Dubai Airports launched the phased opening of Concourse A, an A380 facility at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3. But just four of its 20 contact gates were brought into operation on Wednesday.

Once fully operations, Concourse A will increase the airport's passenger capacity from 60 million to 75 million people. In 2012, DXB, as the Dubai hub is called in pilot's jargon, hosted some 57 million passengers, up from 51 million in 2011.

As the first plane using the concourse, an A380 operated by Dubai's state-owned Emirates Airline took off at 2:30 p.m. (1030 GMT) for London's Heathrow airport, one of the world's most busy long-haul flight tracks. The Emirates flies five times daily to London solely with Superjumbos.

Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths called the opening a "huge achievement" in strengthening the Dubai airport's position as the Middle East's busiest airport.

Emirates Airline is the largest customer of A380, the pride of the European aircraft consortium EADS. The air carrier has ordered a total of 262 A380 planes, of which 92 have been delivered so far.

With a maximum capacity of 853 passengers, the plane is the largest passenger airliner in the world.

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