Dubai International Airport’s new A380 concourse – the world’s first purpose-built facility for the aircraft - has now fully opened, five weeks after the start of a phased launch.
All 20 gates capable of handling the double decker Airbus superjumbo are now operational, while Emirates’ first class and business class lounges were recently opened, Dubai Airports said on Sunday.
Four gates were the first to open on January 2, when Emirates EK 003 flying from Dubai to Heathrow becoming the first flight to use the facilities.
Dubai Airports said the new concourse – called Concourse A - had handled 461,972 pieces of luggage carried on more than 2450 flights serving 589,234 passengers during the first month of operations.
“Much like the opening of Terminal 3 in 2008, the phase in of Concourse A has resulted in the seamless introduction of world-class infrastructure that responds to the rapid growth of Emirates and caters to the needs of its discerning and truly global customer base,” Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said.
“Concourse A is a vital element of our US$7.8bn investment in the continued expansion of Dubai International which will see it become the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic by the end of 2015.”
Dubai’s airline, Emirates is the largest operator of A380s in the world, with 31 planes and a further 59 on order.
President Tim Clark said it was “fitting” that the emirate had “a world class” facility to meet the needs of the aircraft.
With 11 floors and a total built-up area of 528,000 sqm, Concourse A is connected to Concourse B and Terminal 3 via an underground train.
It is the only airport facility in the world to have dedicated floors for first and business class lounges, which extend the entire length of the concourse, the largest in the world.
Dubai Airport intends to increase capacity to 90m passengers by 2018.