British Airways’ first A380 superjumbo, the largest commercial passenger plane ever built, has landed at Cardiff Airport for the first time.
The landing was intended to test the airport’s ability to cope with a plane the size of the A380, which has a 80ft tall, and has wings – made at Broughton, in Flintshire – that are 54% larger than a Boeing 747.
While there are no plans for commercial flights into Cardiff using the double-decker A380, one may need to land at Cardiff in the event of a diversion.
The A380 also has 50% more floor space than the Boeing 747, can reach a speed of 587mph and has a range of 9,500 miles.
The surface of the superjumbo is covered in three layers of paint weighing about 500kg.
BA’s first A380 safely landed at Cardiff. pic.twitter.com/9oWuwyHqr4
— Alun Cairns (@AlunCairns) July 29, 2013
British Airways has configured the 238ft-long A380 to take 469 passengers, slightly fewer than some of the other superjumbo-operating airlines.
There will be just 14 seats in first class, with customers seated at the front of the main deck. They will get 30% more space than those in first class on “normal” BA planes.
A380 first-class passengers will receive nightwear, a turndown service, fine dining, a champagne supper and 15-inch entertainment screens.
Club World (business class) on the BA superjumbos will consist of 44 seats on the main deck and 53 seats on the upper deck. These passengers will get 12-inch screens.
The 55 World Traveller Plus (premier economy) seats will be on the upper deck, while World Traveller (economy) customers can choose seats on both the main and upper deck.
The plane touched down this morning shortly after 9am.