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. Image Credit: Courtesy Emirates

Dubai: The first phase of Dubai’s dedicated terminal for A380 superjumbos opened on Wednesday.

Dubai Airports said in a statement the first four of the 20 gates of the A380 facility, located at Dubai International’s Terminal 3, became operational.

Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the twin-deck jumbo with 31 in service and another 59 on order. Its A380 fleet serve its most popular routes to Europe, Asia and the US.

Paul Griffiths, chief executive of Dubai Airports said Concourse A showed Dubai’s “ongoing ambition to establish the world’s leading aviation hub”.

Dubai International’s annual passenger capacity will increase from 60 million to 75 million when Concourse A is fully operational, the statement said.

Historic occasion

“This is a historic and momentous occasion, marking another world first from Emirates,” said Shaikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates airline and Group.

The new concourse spreads across 11 floors with a total area of 528,000 square metres (5.7 million square feet). It cost $3 billion to build.

Dubai Airports has undertaken a $7.8 billion to further expand the capacity of the international travel hub.