An Airbus A380 operated by Emirates has arrived at Manchester Airport – making the city the first regional destination to receive the superjumbo.
The airport has spent £10 million over the past two years in preparation for the arrival, with Emirates now set to launch a daily service from the north of England to Dubai.
The Dubai-based carrier presently operates 12 A380 aircraft, and confirmed at the Berlin Air Show in June it had ordered a further 32 from Airbus.
Speaking in Manchester this morning Maurice Flanagan, executive vice chairman of Emirates Airline, said “as a result of our announcement in Berlin, we have had enquiries from more than twenty airports across the world, asking whether Emirates would fly the A380 to their airports”.
Airbus presently manufactures the wings for the 517-seat double-decker A380 in the UK. Emirates has operated the aircraft from London Heathrow since March 2008.
The huge plane went into passenger service with Singapore Airlines in October 2007. To date Airbus has received 234 orders for the aircraft.
Lufthansa and Qantas also presently operate the A380, while Air France has also confirmed a new A380 service to Tokyo.
Emirates flight EK017 arrived from Dubai at 12:25 BST earlier today.