AIRBUS workers at Broughton celebrated the beginning of a new era in air transport with the unveiling of the first A380 super-jumbo.
More than 100 workers from the giant factory at Broughton, which is producing wings for the new plane, attended the launch of the project on the production line at Toulouse.
The importance of the milestone in aeronautic history was underlined by the presence of French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin at the event.
But the real star of the show was the massive A380 airframe, which dwarfed the 3,000 guests at the ceremony, including workers and VIPs.
Company chairman Noel Foregard said: 'Our thanks go to all those who, since the beginning of this adventure, are each day transforming the Airbus A380 vision into a reality, and especially to our customers, our employees, our shareholders, Government officials and all our partners and suppliers.
'The Airbus A380 completes - and in what an impressive way - the most modern and complete family of civil aircraft.'
Mr Foregard said the company already has 129 firm orders for the A380 from 11 airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Lufthansa and Qantas.
The company was in talks with four more airlines for possible orders for the new aircraft.
He said the A380 programme needed 250 orders to break even, and this could be achieved by 2008, with the planes being delivered by 2012.
The new giant of the skies will have a range of more than 9,000 miles.
The double-decker A380 is the world's largest passenger plane, with 50% more floor space than conventional aircraft.
Passengers will have wider seats and more leg room and airlines have the option of installing facilities such as bars, shops and gymnasiums.
Airbus is now outselling its rival Boeing and believes that big planes are the answer to the expected boom in aircraft passenger numbers.
Amid scenes of pomp and ceremony at Toulouse, curtains drew back to reveal the airframe of the plane.
Wings for the new aviation sensation are built in Broughton and shipped to France via Mostyn Docks.
Airbus designs, builds and supports the world's most modern and comprehensive airliner family, with different sizes and ranges to match every airline need in the market above 100 seats.
It unites 50,000 aerospace employees, mainly in France, Germany, Spain and the UK.