Manchester Airport’s Runway Visitor Park is expecting huge numbers of spectators on September 1, to welcome the arrival of the world’s biggest airliner when it touches down for the first time.The A380 Airbus – a 517-seat, double-decker aircraft, dubbed the “Super-Jumbo” – is due to land at Manchester Airport at 12.25pm, commencing a daily scheduled service in what will be a world first for a regional airport.
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.
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 1st 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.”
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. In anticipation, parking marshals and an overflow car park will be in operation, whilst the Park’s Aviation Shop has also stocked up on extra A380-model aircraft.
On the day, additional catering facilities will be provided to support the Ringway Restaurant that is located inside the Concorde Conference Centre. Concorde tours, viewing mounds, the Nimrod and the other historical aircraft will remain on show throughout the day.
The new services on the A380 will boost capacity by an extra 75 seats a day and introduce the Dubai-based international carrier’s award-winning First Class cabin, which includes another world first – onboard showers.
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.
Emirates, the biggest customer of the A380, currently flies the aircraft to London Heathrow, Paris, Sydney, Auckland, Toronto, Seoul, Bangkok and Jeddah.
The Runway Visitor Park is located next to Manchester Airport’s runways, two minutes from Junction 6 of the M56 motorway, off the A538 on Louis Paulhan Way.
Only pre-booked tickets will see visitors gain entry to the Park and customers can book an entry ticket for September 1, on the website at http://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/manweb.nsf/Content/ConcordeWhatsOn