An Airbus A350-900 flight from Singapore to Texas touched down for a scheduled turnaround at Manchester Airport this morning, watched proudly by wing makers from the Broughton factory.
The plane arrived at around 8am - 40 minutes ahead of schedule - and gave factory workers the chance to see the wings, which have been 10 years in the making, in action.
The long-haul, wide-body jetliner has revitalised the aircraft manufacturer’s order books and guaranteed work at the Broughton plant for at least six years.
More than eight hundred have been ordered so far.
Flight SQ052 became the first Airbus A350-XWB (extra wide body) today to land on a scheduled flight, commercially outside London.
Kev Barnes from Wrexham, who has worked at the factory since 1975, spoke of his pride at being involved in the project.
Speaking before this morning's touchdown he said: “I’m very proud as a Welshman. This factory is massive for the area.
“The area around North Wales is booming.
“It’s absolutely huge for us. We’ve already got 800 orders but I’m sure once we get these in flight we’ll get a lot more."
Kev was one of a select band of workers, some who had observed the birth of the aircraft from drawing board to full commercial service.
The site employs around 6,000 people with approximately 750 working on the ultra-quiet, ultra-fuel conserving new aircraft.
Up to 11 sets of wings can be in production at any one time with each set taking around three months to complete.
The aircraft is 53% a composite of polymer and carbon, with aluminium and titanium alloys also in the mix.
As a result it is a lighter, more economical and quieter aircraft.
Singapore Airlines has taken 67 and factory production techniques are being continually honed to make the wings more efficiently.
The A350 replaces the Boeing 777 on the Singapore-Manchester-Houston service and allows for the continuation of non-stop flights on the route which began last year.