In February earlier this year, Dubai’s Emirates Airlines opened the first concourse solely dedicated for the purpose of accommodating the Airbus A380 Superjumbos. This is the first of its kind in the world and caters to A380s, which are so large that airports have to work diligently to ensure that the airplane can be accommodated in the space they have. This concourse has been named ‘Concourse A’ and incurred construction cost of about USD 3 billion. With this concourse, Emirates Airlines has acquired additional airport capacity which can cater to 15 million passengers per annum. To enjoy this luxurious new concourse, buy United Miles and travel with a transit or stay in Dubai.
Emirates is said to be in league as one of the biggest carriers in the world, in terms of capacity, and can become second only to United Airlines by the end of the year. The opening of Concourse A allows for more expansion for Emirates and will become the home base for the Emirates A380. Emirates is the largest A380 operator in the world with a fleet consisting of 31 planes, with 59 on order, at the time of the opening.
While the concourse has been opened, this extension that features 20 gates for the specific purpose of accommodating the A380s will open gradually. The initial opening only featured four gates becoming operational. This concourse covers a total are of 528,000 square meters and has 11 floors to its name. The Dubai Airport has budgeted another USD 7.8 billion for further expansion of this travel hub as it continues to grow and expects to host about 75 million passengers by the year 2015 and 28 million passengers by 2020. The data for 2012 shows 57 million people to have used the Dubai International Airport in their travels.
The Emirates fleet includes 195 wide-body Airbus and Boeing, with about 204 units that have been placed on order and are worth over USD 74 billion. The airline caters to passengers flying to 128 destinations in 74 countries.
Emirates began its operations with two leased planes back in 1985, but has since then grown to become a major competitor of the international legacy airlines and turned Dubai into one of the busiest transit hubs in the world for travel between Asia, Australasia and Europe. According to CAPA earlier in the year, Emirates ranked third in the global listing of the world’s airlines by capacity by having 4.993 billion available seat kilometers (ASKs) as opposed to United Airlines’ 6.15 billion ASKs and Delta Airlines’ 5.64 billion ASKs. However, Emirates still enjoyed a growth spurt of 18.4% in ASKs in the previous year, while the growth dropped for Delta Airlines by 0.3%.
Dubai International Airport is also the busiest regional airport; in addition to this, another airport is under construction by the authorities, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International. While it has been operational for cargo since 2010, it has not been catering to passengers. However, that is said to change with its opening as it is expected to become the largest in the world and handle 160 million passengers per year.
Summary: Dubai has opened the first Airbus A380 Concourse in the world for its Emirates fleet. This concourse will only cater to these planes specifically and is designed to accommodate these large airlines, while earning Emirates additional passenger capacity.