The inaugural Airbus A380 has taken off from Emirates Airline's world's first purpose-built, dedicated A380 concourse at Dubai international airport.
The flight, from Concourse A, part of the airport's Terminal 3 complex, was the 14.30 hours EK003 for London Heathrow.
More than 500 passengers in First Class, Business Class and Economy Class boarded through the unique double decker air contact bridges connecting the terminal to the aircraft, as part of operational trials before the 20 gate concourse officially opens sometime during the first quarter this year.
"The new A380 hub is another example of Emirates being a leader in providing innovative products and services," said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, chairman and chief executive, Emirates Airline and Group and chairman of Dubai Airports.
"I would also like to congratulate Dubai Airports on achieving this major milestone in the development of Concourse A."
With 528,000 square metres, across eleven floors, and the capacity to handle 15 million passengers a year, the concourse also offers a dedicated hotel floor with both a four and five star offering.
Passengers are transported between Terminal 3 and Concourse A by underground trains and shuttle busses to connect to more than 20 Emirates A380 destinations around the world, including A380 flights to Europe on the Australian airline, Qantas.