New Delhi: Airbus A-380 of Emirates Airlines on Thursday landed at the new Terminal-3 of the IGI airport here, proving its capacity to handle commercial operations of the world's largest aircraft.
However, the occasion was marred by the straying of a dog in the apron area of the terminal, delaying the docking of the super-jumbo plane with the aerobridge by half an hour.
The dog was chased away by airport officials just before the aircraft reached the designated aerobridge.
Today's flight had on board 543 people--517 passengers and 26 crew members.
With the successful landing, Emirates became the first international carrier to operate a commercial flight of the A -380 on the Indian soil, even though for a one-time trial flight.
The aircraft EK-561 landed at around 3:30. It was scheduled to land at 2:50 pm, had to abort its landing as the visibility dropped due to heavy rains.
The plane took a go-around and landed only when the rains stopped.
The plane carried 14 passengers in First Class, 76 in Business Class and 427 in Economy Class.
Speaking after landing, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President (Commercial) Richard Vaughan said introducing an Airbus A-380 on Indian route is only expected to fuel the growth in the Indian economy and strengthen ties between India and UAE.
Emirates' Senior Vice President Majid Al Mualla said "the fact that we are bringing the A380 here is a reiteration of the potential that we see in the Indian market".
Emirates has been flying to Delhi since 1985. It operates to ten destinations and 184 weekly flights.
The premier global carrier had recently placed an order with Airbus for an additional 32 A-380s, taking the total firm order for the airliner to 90. The order is valued at USD 11.5 billion at list prices.
The Emirates currently flies its total of 11 A-380s to destinations like London, Toronto, Bangkok, Paris, Jeddah, Seoul, Sydney and Auckland.
An Emirates official said it would fly to Beijing from August 1, to Manchester from September 1 and resume services to New York from October 31.
First Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010, 23:59