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World's first concourse for super jumbos

January 3, 2013, 4:17 pm AFP Yahoo!7

Dubai's Emirates Airlines began operations on Wednesday from the world's first concourse dedicated to Airbus' A380 super jumbos at the Gulf emirate's rapidly expanding airport.

World s first concourse for superjumbos - concourse

Dubai's Emirates Airlines began operations on Wednesday from the world's first concourse dedicated to Airbus' A380 super jumbos at the Gulf emirate's rapidly expanding airport.

Concourse A, which cost $3 billion (2.3 billion euros) to build, gives Emirates -- one of the fastest-growing carriers -- an additional airport capacity of 15 million passengers a year, the company said.

The expansion takes place as the CAPA Centre for Aviation said Emirates could become this year the world's second-biggest carrier in terms of capacity, right after United Airlines, and way ahead of legacy European carriers.

Flight EK003 took off to London Heathrow from Concourse A, which will become "home of the Emirates A380," Emirates said.

Credit: AFP

Gallery: Inside the Emirates A380

The new extension to Terminal 3, featuring 20 gates specifically designed to accommodate the long-haul planes, will open gradually, with just four gates operational on Wednesday, Dubai Airports chief executive Paul Griffiths said in another statement.

The government-owned carrier is the largest operator of A380s, with a fleet of 31 and another 59 on order.

Emirates' A380. Credit: Reuters

The new concourse spreads across 11 floors with a total area of 528,000 square metres (5.7 million square feet).

Dubai Airports has earmarked $7.8 billion to further expand the capacity of the international travel hub, as it expects to handle 75 million passengers by 2015 and 98 million by 2020.

It expected the number of passengers who used Dubai International airport in 2012 to be around 57 million.

The new facility will be available to A380 flights to Europe operated by Australia's Qantas, as per the global partnership announced recently and awaiting the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Emirates said.

Emirates has a fleet of 195 wide-body Airbus and Boeing, and has some 204 units on orders worth more than $74 billion, it said. It flies to 128 destinations in 74 countries.

The carrier, which began operations in 1985 with two leased planes, has become a major competitor of legacy airlines, turning Dubai into a major transit hub for travel between Europe, Asia and Australasia.

Sydney-based CAPA said this week Emirates remained last year third in global ranking of world's airlines by capacity, with 4.993 billion available seat kilometres (ASKs), compared to 6.15 billion ASKs for United Airlines thanks to its merger with Continental, and 5.64 billion ASKs for Delta Air Lines.

But Emirates registered a whopping growth of 18.4 percent in ASKs last year, compared to a drop of 0.3 percent by Delta.

This put Emirates ahead of many traditional airlines, including British Airways, which was ranked seventh with 3.049 billion ASKs, and Air France, which followed with 2.825 billion ASKs.

Other Gulf carriers, vying to grab a chunk of the trans-continental travel market, followed behind. Qatar Airways rose to 17th place, with 1.798 billion ASKs, and Abu Dhabi's Etihad advanced to 28th, with 1.135 billion ASKs.

In addition to Dubai International Airport, the busiest regional hub, the city-state is developing another airport.

Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International has been open for cargo since 2010, but passenger operations have been repeatedly delayed.

The airport, launched at the height of Dubai's rapid economic growth, is touted to become the world's largest with a capacity to handle 160 million passengers annually.

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  1. justice_b_done05:13pm Saturday 05th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    As true blue Aussies, we need to take our country back, & at the very least, save our icons. It is beyond me that the Australian gov't seems to care very little about putting funds into saving anything Australan. Goodbye dear QANTAS. You were once the best in the world. Now Australian companies are letting you crash. If QANTAS is not FULLY owned by Australia, we have lost another icon. Maybe I don't know a lot about him, but was the ceo of QANTAS born in Australia or Ireland? I love Ireland, but Australian iconic companies should be solely run by an Australian who truly has Australian loyalty to its icons. The same with other companies. It all has to do with money. Australia is being sold piece by piece to other countries. Even our Aussie language is turning into American language. Why does #$%$ Smith seem to be the only man who is doing something to save Australia. Maybe he should be running QANTAS. Woolworths & Coles seems to be turning into "mob-like" companies who who say what goes in everything. They even seem to own us. I miss the Australia of years ago, when we were all so patriotic, and loved our country enough to stand up & defend "Australia". The war is no longer on foreign land. It is right here. We need to take our country back, from anyone, any company, who sends our money overseas. We need to eat our own fruit & vegetables, & make our own clothes. Oh, sorry, I forgot, Australia doesn't know how to grow fruit, or sew. Are we the stupid country that we are now held up to the world as being? I am on a pension, but I am still willing to pay more for Australian products. Where will it all end? Maybe we should ask Woolworths & Coles. They seem to control so many companies here. I realise I'm going on & on, but I'm just so sick of Australia being taken over by foreigh interests. It just breaks my heart. Long live Australia!

  2. Pebbleb06:43am Friday 04th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Yes Gary you are right Cole's and Woolworths set the petrol price Emirates with its ty ups with other Airlines and Singerpore with its partners will be price fixers

  3. Gary05:56pm Thursday 03rd January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    If we do not support our own airlines we will lose them to these subsudised state owened airlines and then lets see what happens to the prices, just look at how they control the oil prices!!