THOUSANDS of spectators are expected to turn out when the Airbus A380 – the world’s biggest airliner – touches down for the first time.
The iconic 517-seat, double-decker aircraft, dubbed the Super-Jumbo, is due to land at Manchester Airport at 12.25pm on Wednesday, September 1, starting a daily scheduled service in what will be a world first for a regional airport.
The airport’s runway visitor park will open at 8am on the day in order to accommodate the expected crowds.
Visitors arriving on foot or on public transport will be able to enter the park for free.
The wings for the A380 are made at Airbus’ plant in Broughton, Deeside.
Andrew Cornish, managing director at Manchester Airport, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the A380 arrive and I put it on a par with the last flight of Concorde to Manchester.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to the airport to be a part of this historic event, especially in the school holidays and with the park being voted one of the top tourist attractions for the North West.
“There will be plenty of opportunities to come see the A380, as from September 1 onward it will be operating a daily service into Manchester.
“But this is a really significant day for aviation here in the North West and we aim to celebrate it appropriately.”
The new services on the A380 will boost capacity by an extra 75 seats a day and introduce the Emirates’ award- winning first-class cabin, which includes another world first – onboard showers.
Emirates, the biggest customer of the A380, currently flies the aircraft to London Heathrow, Auckland, Bangkok, Jeddah, Paris, Toronto, Seoul and Sydney.
The runway visitor park is located next to Manchester Airport’s runways, junction six of the M56 motorway.
Entry for cars for the September 1 touchdown needs to be pre-booked at £12 per car. Tickets will be valid until 4pm, enabling spectators to watch the A380’s departure at around 3.30pm.