DUBAI, U.A.E., 2nd January 2013: Emirates, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, achieved another first with the inaugural departure today of an A380 flight from the new and world's only dedicated and purpose-built A380 concourse at Dubai International Airport.
Part of the airport's Terminal 3 complex, Concourse A will become the "home of the Emirates A380", from where passengers will connect to more than 20 Emirates A380 destinations around the world, including A380 flights to Europe on Australian airline, Qantas, in terms of the global partnership announced recently which is pending the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The departure of flight EK003 at 14h30 to London Heathrow marked the start of flights from four gates which opened at Concourse A. This also forms part of on-going operational trials and testing to ensure a smooth and seamless passenger experience before it officially opens and becomes fully operational during the first quarter this year.
More than 500 passengers across First Class, Business Class and Economy Class became the first travellers to experience boarding through the unique double decker air contact bridges connected to the aircraft, one of the key features of the facility.
"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 His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group 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." “I would also like to congratulate Dubai Airports on achieving this major milestone in the development of Concourse A."
With 528,000 m2 spread across eleven floors and the capacity to handle 15 million passengers a year, the concourse offers Emirates customers a seamless and unrivalled experience in terms of comfort, convenience and choice of facilities. From direct lounge boarding for First Class and Business Class customers to an expansive duty free shopping area, food courts, cafes and fine dining options, a Timeless Spa and the largest First Class and Business Class lounges in the world. The concourse also offers a dedicated hotel floor with both a four and five star offering. Passengers are transported between Terminal 3 and Concourse A by underground trains and shuttle busses from where they can depart through 20 gates when the facility becomes fully operational.