The A380 a milestone for Copenhagen Airport

When the Emirates airline landed an A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, in Copenhagen on 1 December, it marked a milestone achievement in Copenhagen Airport’s plans to grow its passenger volumes from 25 million to 40 million over the coming decades. The number of long-haul routes at Copenhagen has doubled in the past ten years, and there is more to come.  

Tuesday, 1 December 2015 was not just another day at Copenhagen Airport: it was the day when Emirates deployed an A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, on scheduled flights between Copenhagen and Dubai.

“At Copenhagen Airport, we see today as a milestone in our journey to grow our traffic volumes from 25 million to 40 million passengers per year,” said CEO Thomas Woldbye.

Over the past ten years, we have doubled the number of long-haul routes to 34. This is an area we expect will drive much of the future growth in aviation, and as northern Europe’s leading traffic hub, we need to be able to handle the very largest aircraft, like the A380 Thomas Woldbye, CEO

Government prefers a national aviation strategy
Denmark’s Minister for Business and Growth, Mr Troels Lund Poulsen, also attended the official ceremony to celebrate the new route.

The event took place just a week after the Danish government announced plans to prepare a national aviation strategy in support of the airport's efforts to attract routes and generate growth and jobs throughout Denmark.

“We’re celebrating the start of scheduled flights with the world’s largest type of passenger aircraft in and out of Denmark. It is my hope that our aviation strategy will provide the foundations for other positive developments in the Danish aviation industry,” said the Minister.

Air routes create growth in all of Denmark
Every single route makes Denmark more easily accessible and generates growth and jobs. A report published by Oxford Research shows that, if Copenhagen Airport succeeds in expanding from 25 to 40 million passengers per year, it will create and retain 84,000 jobs – more than half of them outside of the Capital Region.

“The question is not whether we will see global growth in air routes and jobs,  because there’s no doubt we will. More than 3.5 billion people board aircraft every year.  By 2034, that number will likely grow to seven billion,  and we must work together to attract our share of that growth. It certainly won’t come all by itself. We’re in a fierce battle for passengers with other traffic hubs like Amsterdam and Munich,” said Woldbye.

CPH investing a billion kroner every year
That is why Copenhagen Airport is investing close to a billion Danish kroner annually in airport expansion, improvements and maintenance and in attracting more routes and more traffic.

Pier C, where the gates are for the largest aircraft on the long-haul routes, was recently expanded to the tune of DKK 255 million. To accommodate the A380’s double-decker fuselage, the airport has spent DKK 15 million to build an extra passenger bridge.

This past summer, Copenhagen Airport spent more than DKK 100 million on expanding and resurfacing the 3.3 km runway, adding new lights and new drains so the runway can withstand the major cloudbursts expected in the future. The runway was also widened to accommodate A380 aircraft.

“The expansion of Pier C and the runway renovation are both examples of smart investments, because we prepared for the A380 by incorporating it into projects already on the drawing board or being implemented,” said Woldbye.


  • Emirates opened its first route from Copenhagen to Dubai on 1 August 2011, using a 237-seater Airbus 330.
  • Today, on 1 December 2015, Emirates deployed the world's biggest airliner, the Airbus A380, on the route.
  • The A380 accommodates 615 passengers and has a maximum weight of 570 tonnes
  • The huge aircraft emits half the noise that a Boeing 747-400 jumbo jet does.
  • The A380 will park at Gate 39 at the new Pier C South, a gate fitted with two passenger bridges to accommodate the double-decker aircraft.