Dubai, Feb 11 (IBNS) Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines, and Dubai Airports on Monday announced the successful completion of the phased launch of Concourse A - the home of the A380 and the world's first purpose-built facility for the aircraft at Dubai International, the world's third busiest airport in terms of both international passenger and cargo traffic.
All 20 A380 capable contact gates and Emirates luxurious First Class and Business Class lounges, which comprise 29,000 square metres of the facility, are now fully operational after a five-week-long phase-in period.
During the first month of operations following its inaugural flight on January 2, 2013, EK003 bound for Heathrow and operating from one of the four contact stands opened during Phase 1, Concourse A has handled 461,972 pieces of luggage carried on over 2,450 flights serving 589,234 passengers.
"With a current fleet of 31 A380s and a further 59 on order, Emirates is the largest operator of this aircraft in the world, and it is only fitting that we have a world class facility that meets this need and represents our leadership in this regard," said Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline.
"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," said Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.
"Concourse A is a vital element of our $7.8 billion 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."
Concourse A is part of the Terminal 3 complex built for the use of Emirates, from where its passengers can travel to its network of 21 A380 destinations across Europe, North America, Australia and Asia.
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.
Unlike any other airport facility in the world, the First Class and Business Class lounges have dedicated floors that offer direct and convenient access to aircraft boarding gates.
The lounges, which extend the entire length of the concourse, are the largest in the world and offer customers' fine dining with showcase kitchens, conference rooms, business centres, a Timeless Spa, entertainment zones, dedicated smoking areas as well as children's play areas.
The First Class lounge passengers also have the added convenience of a dedicated duty free shopping area and a Le Clos wine cellar.
Concourse A also offers an enhanced duty free shopping and dining experience featuring a wide variety of high-quality and globally recognised food and beverage brands which include Paul, Umaizushi Bistro, Picnic, Wafi Gourmet, Carluccio's, Cho Gao, Pulp Juice Bar, McDonalds and McCafe, Shake Shack, Costa Metropolitan, Starbucks, Le Pain Quotidien, Giraffe, Heineken Lounge, Jack's Bar & Grill and Moet & Chandon Champagne Bar.
Concourse A boosts capacity at Dubai International from 60 million to 75 million passengers per year. It is a vital part of Dubai Airports' $7.8 billion Strategic Plan 2020 which will increase airport capacity to 90 million by 2018.
Dubai Airports owns and manages the operation of both of Dubai's airports - Dubai International as well as Dubai World Central.
The opening of Concourse A is a key element of Dubai Airports' $7.8bn SP2020 plan to increase the capacity of Dubai International to 90 million passengers a year by 2018.