03 March 2008
Auckland Airport is ready to roll out the welcome mat for the first A380 flight into New Zealand early next year.
Emirates today announced it would fly from Dubai to Auckland, via Sydney, on a daily basis from 1 February 2009, the first airline to fly the new giant aircraft into Auckland.
Auckland Airport general manager aeronautical, Tony Gollin, says Auckland Airport is ready for the aircraft's arrival.
"Auckland is the only airport in New Zealand capable of handling the A380 and we are looking forward to welcoming the first Emirates flight. We have already provided for the A380 as part of a $37 million upgrade and widening of the runway, and are due to complete a second pier in October that has two multi-function contact gates able to take A380s, as well as other wide-bodied and smaller aircraft."
With the opening of the $40 million second pier, Auckland Airport will be able to able to facilitate two A380s simultaneously, which will also assist with the possible arrival of A380s from other airlines. Airlines servicing Auckland that have A380s on order are Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Thai Airways and Korean Airlines.
As part of the airport's future planning a new arrivals area is due to open on 1 April 2008, which includes an extra 12 passport control counters, and will increase the ability to facilitate arriving passengers from both piers. A second stage of the arrivals expansion, due to be completed in June 2008, will see expansion to the baggage hall and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity New Zealand (MAF) processing area.
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