Thousands Of Aviation Enthusiasts Join Emirates In Welcoming Scotland’s First Ever A380 Arrival
Emirates operates one-off A380 service at Glasgow Airport as part of 10 year anniversary celebrations.
Emirates, a global connector of people and places, brought thousands of aviation fans together today as it operated a one-off A380 service at Glasgow Airport to mark its 10 year anniversary and continued commitment to Scotland.
The important milestone also signals the first time a Scottish airport has ever welcomed an A380, the world’s largest commercial aircraft, which stands over 24 metres high and with a wing span of nearly 80 metres. Thousands of spectators from across the country turned out to gather at the airport’s perimeter and witness the giant aircraft’s landing first-hand.
The Dubai-bound A380 arrived this afternoon captained by Scottish-born Iain Weir. 476 passengers were on-board including: Emirates’ Senior Divisional Vice President Commercial Operations West, Hubert Frach; and University of Glasgow graduate and Emirates’ Vice President Dental Clinic, Dr Brendan Carr. Both made the special journey to Glasgow from Dubai today to formally mark the momentous occasion.
Speaking at the official reception held at the airport, Hubert Frach said: “As the world’s largest A380 operator, we feel privileged to mark this historic milestone in Glasgow, which also represents a historic milestone for Scotland, as it welcomes an A380 into the region for the first time. Scotland continues to be a vital passenger and cargo market for Emirates and we hope that today underlines our continued commitment to the region.”
Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, also commented: “Over the course of the past 10 years Emirates has established itself as Scotland’s leading long-haul airline and we are honoured it has chosen to mark our successful partnership by operating Scotland’s first commercial A380 service. This is a significant milestone for Glasgow and for Scottish aviation.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “The Scottish Government has been a supporter of this important link from the outset and you need only look at the passenger numbers to see how successful the route has become. The service provides a real boost for Scotland’s economy, improving connectivity from both a business and tourism standpoint, and what better way to celebrate this achievement than welcoming the world’s largest commercial airliner – the A380 – to Scotland for the first time.”
The one-off A380 flight, operating as EK028, departed Glasgow at 15:35hrs and will arrive in Dubai tomorrow at 02:00hrs. Whether stopping in Dubai or connecting to one of Emirates’ 141 destinations world-wide, passengers embarking on this unique A380 flight from Glasgow have access to a spacious aircraft, with a cabin that is two-and-a-half feet wider than a Boeing 777; a peaceful journey in the world’s quietest long-range jet; on-board Wi-Fi; world-class in-flight menus and the award-winning ice entertainment system.
Since beginning operations at Glasgow Airport on 10th April 2004, Emirates has carried over 2.4 million passengers across its global network, which now covers 141 destinations. Emirates currently offers over 43,000 passenger seats per month to and from Glasgow, following the upgrade of its second daily service to a Boeing 777 in 2012. In addition to passengers, over the past 10 years Emirates has transported over 50,000 tonnes of cargo to and from Glasgow, including 12 million kilogrammes of Scottish Whisky and other popular commodities such as seafood, oil drilling machinery and electrical equipment. The airline has transported some unexpected items in this time as well including an Aston Martin Cygnet, flown to Cyprus as a birthday present, and two Mini Coopers, which made their way to the Middle East as part of a scientific project.
Airport guests had the opportunity to embark on a static tour of the A380 giant once it had landed where they could see first-hand some of the aircraft’s unique features including the Business Class On-board Lounge; the First Class signature Shower Spa, with a state-of-the-art shower system; and the First Class Private Suites.
As the Official Partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay, the one-off A380 has been kitted out with a new decal reflecting the airline’s commitment to Glasgow and Scotland.
In time for the Commonwealth Games, Emirates will also be opening a lounge facility at Glasgow Airport this summer for the region’s First and Business Class passengers and Platinum and Gold Skywards members. In another first, this new addition will highlight Emirates as the only non-UK carrier to open a dedicated lounge at the airport, signifying its ever-growing presence in Scotland.