x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Emirates Airlines switch to T3

Flights from Dubai bound for Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa will leave from the new Terminal 3.

Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport was designed to help inspire feelings of tranquility in passengers.
Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport was designed to help inspire feelings of tranquility in passengers.

DUBAI // Emirates Airlines will today begin routing all its flights from Dubai International Airport bound for Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa through the new Terminal 3 (T3) building. The airline is switching the focus of its operations from the overcrowded Terminal 1 to the plush new US$4.5 billion (Dh16.52bn) facility, which opened on Oct 14. At 2.30pm flights EK003 to London Heathrow and EK047 to Frankfurt will take off from the terminal, marking the start of the new programme. After today about 60 per cent of the airline's flights serving 55 destinations will land or take off at T3, which is the world's largest airport terminal. A total of 168 flights will pass through the colossal 1.5 million square metre glass, chrome and marble structure daily. Emirates is due to route its entire operation via T3 by December, adding the remaining destinations of the Indian subcontinent, east Asia and Australasia. Once the transition is complete the terminal will handle 269 flights every day. Terminal 1 has been criticised for the long queues snaking around check-in desks and poor traffic management leading to gridlocked roads outside the airport. T3 got off to a slow start earlier this month, with just 15 flights passing through the facility on opening day. Almost two weeks later, the terminal is quickly getting up to speed. Sheba Koonan, an Emirates spokeswoman, said the airline processed 150,000 passengers, 336 flight departures and 345 arrivals during the first 12 days of operations. "Emirates Terminal 3 is buzzing with activity as passengers are eager to experience and explore the new terminal and its facilities,' said Ms Koonan. Dubai International Airport expects to handle around 40 million passengers this year, up from 34m last year. A third concourse, due for completion in 2011, aims to boost capacity to 75m passengers a year. The new terminal is part of a comprehensive investment strategy aimed at transforming the UAE into a major transit hub and take advantage of its location at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. chamilton@thenational.ae