Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) welcomes yet another A380 as Emirates introduces the world’s largest passenger plane to its Johannesburg – Dubai Route.
“Internationally from an O.R. Tambo perspective, the Johannesburg-Dubai route is the second busiest route by passenger numbers and unlike the busiest route which is Johannesburg - London it is not serviced by three international carriers but by one single airline and that is Emirates. That alone should tell you how important Emirates is in connecting people to this country,” says Tebogo Mekgoe, Acting General Manager at O.R. Tambo International Airport.
“It is testament to Emirates’ foresight and exceptional execution that we have this dramatically changed picture over the last decade in terms of the Johannesburg-Dubai route. And now Emirates has upped the ante again as they show their intent with the launch of A380 operations on this route,” adds Mekgoe.
“The occasion comes a year after O.R. Tambo International Airport welcomed the first commercial Airbus, the world’s largest passenger plane, in February 2010 and the second in June of the same year. The accommodation of the new generation aircraft (A380s) formed part of our master plans in the development of O.R. Tambo International Airport. ACSA invested in excess of R500 million in A380 related projects. Some of the developments included shoulder and taxiways upgrades, development of new aprons, longer baggage belts, and larger passenger holding and boarding gates," said Unathi Batyashe-Fillis,” ACSA’s Brand and Communications Manager at O.R. Tambo International Airport.
Mekgoe emphasizes that “ACSA strives for true partnerships on a daily basis with everyone and it is our promise that we shall continue to attempt to create better value on the ground with Emirates as they look to grow this very busy route with the launch of the A380.
People fly to Johannesburg and to South Africa because they have powerful enough reasons to connect with this society. As airlines and airports we must have the humility to recognise this and the best way to recognise this is through true collaborative partnerships that deliver seamless and wonderful experiences for our passengers once they are on the ground,” he said
O.R. Tambo International Airport has five apron stands for A380s; of which three are for contact stands with dual air bridges to load and off-load passengers from the double-decker aircraft, as well as two remote stands. It is also the only airport in the African Continent that operates A380’s.