18 Apr 2019
Glasgow Airport and Emirates have made Scottish aviation history by launching the first regular service of the iconic Airbus A380 aircraft to Scotland.
Thousands of people gathered at the airport to witness the arrival of inaugural flight EK025 as it touched down on Glaswegian soil.
Emirates is famed for redefining air travel with its A380. The plane is the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft, with a wingspan of 79.8 metres - more than twice the height of Glasgow Cathedral.
Its famous double-decker cabin will accommodate up to 489 passengers, benefitting from improved comfort and industry-leading on-board features.
The A380 offers unparalleled luxury for a passenger aircraft, with game-changing additions such as the on-board shower spas in First Class and an on-board lounge, where First and Business class passengers can relax at the bar whilst enjoying a cocktail mixed at 43,000 feet.
To prepare to receive the A380 on a regular basis, Glasgow Airport invested more than £8 million to upgrade its infrastructure as the aircraft can weigh up to 575 tonnes.
The arrival of Emirates’ A380 marks a new daily service between Glasgow and Dubai that will run from today until 30th September 2019. While an A380 aircraft has touched down in Scotland before, this is the first time in history an A380 has been in regular service to Scotland.
The new A380 service coincides with Emirates’ fifteenth anniversary of flying from Glasgow. Since the introduction of the Glasgow Dubai service in 2004, over 4.5 million passengers have travelled between the two cities and further afield through Emirates’ network of 158 destinations.
Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport Managing Director, said: “Watching this incredible aircraft touch down on our runway is an experience that will live long in the memories of everyone involved. It may have only taken just a few moments for the Emirates A380 to land, but the planning and effort that has gone into bringing this iconic aircraft to Glasgow Airport has been years in the making.
“Emirates’ Glasgow Dubai service has been a huge success story for Scotland during the last 15 years. By investing more than £8 million in upgrading our infrastructure, we are confident Scotland’s busiest long-haul route will continue to flourish thanks to premium service offered by the introduction of the Emirates A380 aircraft.”
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay said: “It’s fantastic to see the Airbus A380 operating on the Glasgow-Dubai service. It’s a real vote of confidence in both the airport and Scotland as a whole, and shows the importance of the route to Emirates.
“This service plays an important role for Scottish businesses, making it easier for them to access global markets. It also offers Scottish travellers a huge range of connecting destinations from Dubai. Of course, the A380 is an iconic aircraft in itself and will no doubt prove a popular draw for aviation fans across Scotland.
“I congratulate Glasgow Airport and Emirates on the continued success of this route, and look forward to watching it go from strength to strength in the future.”
Councillor Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “To have such an iconic aircraft connecting Scotland with one of the world’s busiest and best connected hub airports is a major step towards - and vote of confidence in - our global Glasgow aspirations.
“It’s vital for our economy and growing tourism sector that we continue to improve upon our international connectivity and secure access to growing and emerging markets across the Asia.
“We will continue to work with Glasgow Airport, carriers and other partners to further the city’s success.”
In a busy week for the airport, First Glasgow has launched 10 new ultra-low emission vehicles for their premium Glasgow Airport Express service as part of the on-going investment plans, which provides a 24/7 fast and frequent link from the city centre to the airport.
The 10 new E400 city double decker buses built by Alexander Dennis in Falkirk will double the capacity on these popular services and the new vehicles will be in operation on the 500 service from Sunday, April 14th serving one of the busiest airports in the UK.
The new vehicles come with luxury double padded seating, free 4G WIFI, USB charging points as well as new state-of-the-art wireless charging facilities on both the tables and seatbacks, luggage racks and most important of all, ultra-low emission Euro VI diesel engines.
The 500 service runs from Glasgow City Centre to the airport in as little as 15 minutes. This is one of the Glasgow operator’s most popular services carrying over 1.9 million passengers annually and an open return ticket on this frequent service is just £13.50, available on the First Bus App, when you plan your journey in advance.
Glasgow’s largest operator has now invested over £30 million in a total of 150 new ultra-low emission vehicles for Glasgow since October 2018. This highlights First Glasgow’s continuing commitment to improving the quality of offering to its customers while at the same time playing its role in improving air quality in the city.
Andrew Jarvis, Managing Director for First Glasgow, said: “It is exciting times for everyone at First Glasgow in being able to share these vehicles with the people of Glasgow and the rest of the world via our friends at Glasgow Airport. We have a great working relationship with the airport team and with these new state-of-the-art vehicles, we are providing their customers with a first-class experience on their journeys to and from the airport.
“This investment marks the end of our second phase of new bus launches linked with the Glasgow Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) and takes us a long way toward compliance for phase 2. We are delighted to have delivered such a vast range of service improvements to our customers since October last year and these latest buses are the next level for our premium express airport service.”