Airport setback holds up A380s

The world's biggest international airline has expressed concern that WA is missing out on tourism and business opportunities because infrastructure at Perth Airport is unable to meet demand.

Responding to news that a promised aerobridge complex to accommodate A380 super jumbos is running five months behind, Emirates president Tim Clark said "this is not good news for Perth Airport, Perth and WA and Emirates".

"Perth and WA are like the Klondike with many people from all over the world wanting a part of this fantastic opportunity," Mr Clark said.

"Getting the airport in a position to accommodate this demand as soon as possible is critical."

Mr Clark said he was "sure this is not lost on the airport authorities but time really is of the essence".

Perth Airport's international terminal has only one boarding aerobridge per plane. The A380 needs at least two, but ideally three.

Emirates will be forced to push back the introduction of its luxurious 517-seat A380 to its Perth route by at least five months because of the delay.

Perth Airport chief executive Brad Geatches promised in July that it would deliver the aerobridge "within 12 months".

An airport spokesman conceded on Friday that the time frame was only an estimate and the gate would not be ready until November next year.

The delay will mean the airline will miss the heavy June-October travel season when there is peak demand for the A380.

Demand for the A380 on the Perth route has risen significantly since the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission gave conditional approval to Emirates' alliance with Qantas from April next year.

Emirates' A380 has 14 first-class suites, 76 business class beds plus a big bar and 427 economy seats.

The airline will increase the number of flights to Perth from Dubai to three times a day from March, using various models of the 266-to-364-seat Boeing 777.

The West Australian

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