Flight operations have officially started at Frankfurt Airport’s new Pier A-Plus after four years of construction and €700 million of investment.
Fraport, the manager and operator of the gateway, has invested a total of €700 million for the construction of the 800-metre-long new pier, which has been built as a westward extension of the existing Concourse A in Terminal 1.
Pier A-Plus will allow Frankfurt Airport to serve up to six million additional passengers per year, increasing the gateway’s capacity to a total of 65 million passengers per year.
After a trial phase spanning several weeks and involving a total of 2,000 test passengers, a Lufthansa Airbus A380 coming from New York was the first aircraft to dock at the new pier on Wednesday morning (October 10) at 5:30am.
Used exclusively by Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners, the new pier provides seven docking positions for wide-body aircraft, four of which are capable of handling the A380 aircraft.
Pier A-Plus also features five Lufthansa lounges, 14 food & beverage outlets and 46 stores.
Stefan Schulte, chairman of the executive board at Fraport, said: “The new Pier A-Plus represents a quantum leap in Fraport’s strategy to secure the competitiveness and future capabilities of Frankfurt Airport.
“We’ve created additional space for up to six million passengers per year. This extra capacity will allow us to meet traffic growth expected in the coming years and to strengthen our role as one of the world’s leading aviation hubs.”
The ground-breaking ceremony for the Pier A-Plus took place in December 2008.
Volker Bouffier, the prime minister of the German federal state of Hesse, added: “The opening of the new pier marks a further milestone for Frankfurt Airport and secures long-term development opportunities in an extremely competitive growth market.
“Our airport is, by far, the largest employment complex at a single location in all of Germany – and serves as the job motor of the entire region and as heart of the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main transportation hub.”