Dubai's A380 concourse in full operation in boost for Airbus
The first class section of an Emirates airlines Airbus A380 is ready for boarding at the new Concourse A of Dubai airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. (AP / Kamran Jebreili)
Published Sunday, February 10, 2013 2:49PM EST
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Dubai's airport authorities say a purpose-built concourse for Airbus' A380 aircraft is fully open after weeks of phased-in operations.
The aircraft is a double-decker that seats 525 people and is so large some airports have to be adjusted to accommodate it.
The 20-gate concourse, which hosted its inaugural flight on Jan. 2, is part of a wider $7.8 billion expansion plan for Dubai's international airport, which seeks to become the world's busiest by 2015.
The new concourse, formally unveiled Sunday, is also a boost for the European Airbus consortium in its rivalry with Boeing Co., whose 787 has been grounded since mid-January as investigators examine possible problems in its lithium ion batteries.
The Dubai-based carrier Emirates currently flies 31 A380s and has 59 on order.