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Dubai airport adds to 'world record' number of A380 gates

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 27/09/2016 Ben Mutzabaugh
An Emirates airline Airbus A380 is serviced at Dubai International Airport on Feb. 10, 2013. © Kamran Jebreili, AP An Emirates airline Airbus A380 is serviced at Dubai International Airport on Feb. 10, 2013.

The world’s busiest hub for Airbus A380s will soon be able to handle even more flights on the planet's biggest passenger aircraft. 

The Dubai Airports agency said on Monday it will add 10 additional A380-capable gates at Dubai International Airport, the main hub for Dubai-based Emirates airline. 

Emirates, of course, has been one of the world’s fastest-growing carriers during the past decade. It’s also the world’s top customer for the Airbus A380, with more than 80 of the “superjumbo” jets already in its fleet and about 60 more on order.

Once the 10 new gates are added, Dubai International (DXB) will have a “world record” 47 A380-capable gates, The Associated Press reports. The new gates, which will feature jet-bridges that can facilitate multiple boarding points on the double-decked plane, will be added at Dubai International’s Concourse C. "Upgrade works are already under way and the work is expected to be completed by the end of 2018," writes The National newspaper of the United Arab Emirates.

The new A380 gates are part of an effort by the Dubai Airports agency to expand the capacity of DXB to handle up to 118 million passengers a year without growing the footprint of the airport. 

“Considering the traffic growth at Dubai International and the central role the airport will continue to play for the aviation sector as well as Dubai’s economy over the next 10 years, it is vital that we provide additional capacity while enhancing our customer service."  Bryan Thompson, Senior Vice President of Development at Dubai Airports, says in a statement. 

Dubai was the world’s third-busiest airport in 2015. The airport handled more than 78 million passengers for the year, vaulting the Middle East hub to No. 3 from No. 6 on the list of world’s busiest airports (as measured by passenger counts). 

Emirates is by far the world’s biggest operator of the A380. It has about four times as many of the jets in its fleet as the No. 2 A380 operator, Singapore Airlines. 

Seating capacity on the A380 varies depending on how airlines have chosen to configured the jet, though some of Emirates' "high-density" versions of the jets now seat more than 600 passengers. 

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