British Airways’ first Airbus 380 lands at Manston

British Airways’ first Airbus 380, the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft, has landed safely at Manston Airport, Kent, UK.

The Airbus, a recent addition to British Airway’s fleet, will be based at Manston as part of the airline’s training for its pilots, flight crew and cabin staff before the A380s commence service in September.

The A380 is claimed to generate only a quarter of the noise level of the Boeing 747-400 when landing. It also produces 10 percent less NOx emissions and is 16 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft it replaces. Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, built at Derby, will power all of BA’s A380s. Nearly 40 percent of the near £300 million cost of each superjumbo – or around £120million – is ‘British made’.

Keith Williams, British Airways chief executive, had commented previously, ‘The A380 is a fantastic aircraft and an excellent showpiece for British engineering. Our customers are going to love the space, light and comfort on board.’ Each A380 aircraft can carry 469 passengers over two decks with four cabins.

When the plane arrived, Manston Airport’s chief executive, Charles Buchanan, said: ‘The reason that British Airways chose here was because of the capacity that we have available and because of the length of our runway and the handling capabilities of our teams and the professionalism of our staff.

‘We have worked very closely with British Airways for six months on this programme – bringing together all sorts of different elements of what we need to put in place: fire service cover; ground services equipment and all sorts of things like that, to make sure we can handle the aircraft efficiently, and being able to demonstrate that to the aviation community is just going to build our reputation.’

Captain David Thomas, British Airways’ head of flight technical and training, said: ‘We are delighted to be based at Manston for the next few weeks.

‘We’ve been made very welcome by everyone at the airport, and hope that the sight of the A380 in the skies over Ramsgate will be a pleasant surprise for local residents and visitors to the area.

‘Manston Airport has the capacity to serve one million passengers per annum today and a deliverable master-plan that accommodates five million or more.’

The airport handles more than 30,000 tonnes of freight a year and has the capacity to deliver 100,000 tonnes in the existing facilities, growing to 400,000 in the future.

KLM Announces Services from Manston Airport in UK to Amsterdam

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the national airline of the Netherlands, will be offering services from Manston airport in eastern Kent, UK, to Amsterdam, in The Netherlands.

The new services commence from April 2, 2013, with twice daily flights from Manston airport to Schiphol airport. With the new route, the airline will be operating to 17 airports in the UK. The airline will be flying up to 80 passengers on its Fokker 70 jets.

Henri Hourcade, the UK general manager for KLM, said, ‘Demand for efficient and convenient schedules to long-haul destinations from the UK continues to grow to emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and the Far East, but equally to established markets such as North America.

By connecting the UK regions to worldwide destinations, KLM is offering more choice to holidaymakers, but equally adding to the infrastructure for regional UK businesses.’

Currently Manston Airport is being served by only charter operators, Newmarket Holidays and Jersey Travel. KLM will be the only scheduled service from the airport when it commences its operations.

Charles Buchanan, the chief executive officer at Manston Airport, said, ‘The new services will be a real benefit to Kent and its residents. Passengers will be able to arrive at Manston, park adjacent to the terminal building, check in and be on the flight to Amsterdam within minutes, a hassle-free experience that makes travelling a pleasure. Passengers from Manston can leave home without the worries of road congestion or excessive flight delays affecting their journey.’

Earlier the airline entered into a code share agreement with Flybe, a UK-based airline company, on two routes in UK; between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Southampton Airport in England; and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Inverness Airport, in Scotland.

KLM, with the new code share, is offering its customers three daily flights to Southampton from Amsterdam; and a daily flight to Inverness from Amsterdam; the agreement being effective May 30, 2012.