A380 to draw crowds for Manchester debut
Large numbers of spectators are expected to descend on Manchester Airport's Runway Visitor Park on 1 September when the world's biggest airliner is due to touch down in Manchester for the first time.
The 517-seat Emirates A380 Airbus, a double-decker aircraft dubbed the super-jumbo, is due to land at Manchester Airport at 12.25pm to mark the beginning of a daily scheduled service to Dubai.
Andrew Cornish, managing director of 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 1 September 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 Runway Visitor Park will open at 8:00am 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, as always. Entry for cars will however be by pre-booked ticket only, at £12.00 per car with up to five occupants. Tickets will be valid until 4:00pm – enabling spectators to watch the A380's departure at around 3:30pm.
When Concorde made its final flight into Manchester in 2003, before going on permanent display in the Runway Visitor Park, an estimated 10,000 on-lookers greeted her arrival.
The new services on the A380 will boost capacity by an extra 75 seats a day and introduce onboard showers in first class.
Emirates have been flying from Manchester to Dubai and its network of onward destinations since 1990. A second daily service was added in 2003 and its Manchester lounge – the most luxurious at the airport – was opened on October 2009.