Dubai’s Emirates Airline has drawn close comparisons to the once supreme Pan American World Airways. Emirates’ luxurious aircraft, global route network, trend setting innovations and glamours cabin crew have many calling the airline the new Pan Am. Early next year when Emirates opens its new “A380 Hub” it will have one more strong comparison to add to the list.
In 1960 Pan Am gave a home to the jet age when it opened the Pan Am Terminal later named Worldport at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. The state-of-the-art terminal was designed for the new 130 seater Pan Am Jet Clippers – The Boeing 707. For several years the 8 gate terminal held the title of the world’s largest and most advanced.
In 2013 Emirates will give the super jumbo its first official home when it opens the “A380 Hub” at Dubai International Airport. Designed to accommodate 20 of the 517 seater Airbus A380s at one time, the new hub can handle up to 15 million travelers per year. With 500,000 m2 on eleven levels the hub will feature dinning outlets such as Giraffe café, Paul, Carluccios, Shake Shack, Costa Metropolitan and a Moet & Chandon Champagne Bar. It will also be home to the biggest business class lounge in the world and a first class lounge with exclusive new facilities like a cigar bar and duty free shopping area. Both lounges offer direct access to the aircraft which means premium customers could be able to complete an entire air journey from check-in, duty free shopping, to arrival without ever seeing their fellow economy passengers flying on the lower deck. Also featured under the massive roof will be a dedicated hotel floor that will provided a 170-room four-star and 32-room five-star hotel. The hub is a concourse of the four-year-old Terminal 3, which by itself is already the wold’s largest terminal and the third largest building in the world by floor space.