Major event today in the Hanseatic city of Hamburg. Emirates will be the first carrier to inaugurate A380 scheduled service to the city’s airport.

The initial flight will arrive as EK59  from Dubai at 1255. It will return to Dubai as EK60 at 1630.

But, as previously reported, from October 30 this will change as Emirates will roster the A380 for flight EK61 arriving into Hamburg 1905 and returning as overnight flight EK60 departing as 2100.

Emirates’ other flight is operated by a B777-300ER. It means the 516-seater three-class A380 (which replaces a B777-300ER) represents a capacity increase of 22 per cent.

Hamburg has seen many A380s over the past ten years.

That’s because Hamburg is the location used by Airbus to complete the A380s prior to customer acceptance.

The airport was so keen to woo Emirates’ A380 service that it splashed out on a dedicated gate complete with three boarding piers.

Business Traveller was unable to discover the entire price but the airport revealed the cost of the third bridge alone set it back €750,000.

Now you must be wondering why Hamburg is prepared to spend so much just to handle the A380.

Quite simply it’s prestige. Any airport can claim it’s “arrived” when it can offer customers A380 service.

Indeed Hamburg’s GM of aviation marketing, Jorgen Kearsley, recently said, “The popularity of the city [Hamburg] and the high demand for flights have made it one of the world’s elite cities [now] with regular Emirates A380 service.”

Passenger numbers are rising but Hamburg, like other major German cities of Dusseldorf, Stuttgart and Berlin, feels neglected by their national airline’s mainline division.

Lufthansa mainline, as we have so often noted in Business Traveller, would rather its regional customers transit Frankfurt or Munich.

Emirates will provide travellers to and from this Hanseatic city with global access (and the same quality product throughout) without the need to transit elsewhere in Europe.