UAE's Dubai International Airport reported (17-Apr-2013) it handled 7259 scheduled services to 28 destinations with A380 aircraft in 2012, making it the world's busiest airport for A380 operations. All but 88 of the services were operated by Emirates. Singapore Changi Airport handled the second-largest number of A380 operations in 2012, with 6653 services to 19 destinations, while UK's London Heathrow Airport was third with 3697 services to six destinations, Germany's Frankfurt Airport was fourth with 3071 services to 12 destinations and Australia's Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport was fifth with 2697 services to eight destinations. France's Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, US' Los Angeles International Airport, New York JFK Airport and Melbourne Tullamarine Airport rounded out the top 10. Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths said, "The opening of concourse A earlier this year was a USD3 billion validation of our intention to be the world’s premiere A380 hub. Based on Emirates’ order book, the new Qantas A380 operation and our USD7.8 billion expansion plan, Dubai International is well placed to continue to hold the top position for A380 operations in 2013 and beyond." [more - original PR]
Dubai Airport handled 7259 A380 services in 2012
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Gulf airlines in Australia/New Zealand: 2017 could surpass 2016's record growth
Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
In Australia/NZ Gulf airlines have doubled their presence between 2012 and 2017. In Australia/New Zealand, by 2020, Gulf airlines could create the presence of two Singapore Airlines, an operation which established itself over many decades. Gulf growth has broader implications as their mostly European traffic flows challenge historical Australia-Europe hubs in Asia.
Lufthansa and Etihad bedfellows - at last - but unions may make marriage a distant prospect
There can be no understating the symbolic change in mindset of Lufthansa agreeing to partner with Etihad. Lufthansa has spent the better part of a decade rallying against Gulf airlines to the press, lobbying in Europe's power corridors and seeking a range of aeropolitical measures to wind back new competitors. Etihad has been the prime target for its investment and ongoing top-ups in a range of European airlines including Lufthansa's home competitor, the failing airberlin. Despite that, it is not well known that the two have come close to a liaison before, suggesting that each sees an intrinsic logic in a relationship.
The partnership has potential to be more significant than Emirates-Qantas, Qatar-IAG or Etihad-AF-KLM. But for now it is limited in scope and caution should be exercised in extrapolating too far at this stage.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr is seeking new growth platforms that sidestep the flagship business' uncompromising unions who would seemingly prefer a status quo that exists only in memory. Their support will be necessary if the partnership is to work and grow. Then Lufthansa, which has rallied the Star Alliance and JV partners against Gulf airlines, will need to explain its change of heart. For now Lufthansa will not partner on Etihad's beyond-Abu Dhabi network, a move that would embrace the fundamental business plan of Etihad and peers. That upside remains a matter for speculation.