THE first A380 commercial flight to Europe touched down in the UK this week.
The Singapore Airlines flight SQ308 landed at London’s Heathrow Airport at 2.50pm on Wednesday with 471 passengers on board plus crew.
The wings of the doubledecker aircraft, the largest passenger aircraft in the world, were made at Airbus’s Broughton factory in Flintshire.
The first A380 commercial service to Europe follows the delivery of the third A380 to Singapore Airlines on Tuesday, March 11.
It is fitted with luxurious suites, award-winning four-abreast business class and a new, more spacious economy class.
Singapore Airlines is the first to fly the A380 and has firm orders for a further 16 aircraft and options on six more.
It began operating flights between Singapore and Sydney in October.
And 17 customers from nine different countries, who flew on the world’s first A380 commercial flight to Sydney in October 2007, joined Singapore Airlines in setting this milestone.
Eight of these customers also flew straight back, flying both first flight sectors.
Marvin Tan, Singapore Airlines general manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “Singapore Airlines is delighted to be the first carrier to operate the aircraft in Europe. Among the distinguished guests welcoming the A380’s arrival at London Heathrow Airport were Minister of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Pat McFadden MP and Aviation Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP.
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr McFadden added: “Today’s flight represents a significant milestone. The Airbus A380 is a remarkable aircraft – quieter, cleaner, smarter and greener than existing commercial planes. It is a privilege to be here to witness its first ever commercial flight to not just to the UK, but to Europe.
“The aerospace sector is a very important part of UK manufacturing and this journey is a chance to celebrate the contribution of more than 400 British companies to the A380 programme.
“I wish the aircraft, the airport and the airline a long and successful future working together.”