The Airbus A380 has arrived in Birmingham ahead of a new era for the city’s airport.
The giant passenger plane set down at the airport earlier than expected, at around 4.20pm this afternoon, ahead of its debut departure from the city on March 27.
The aeroplane will be shown to the media and dignitaries tomorrow – with live updates from birminghammail.co.uk from tomorrow morning – but will become a regular feature in the city.
The plane, a large part of which was made in the West Midlands, will be used to ship more than 600 people a day from Birmingham to Dubai, in what is a major boost to the region.
Dozens of plane-spotters turned out to see the moment it set down and dozens more are expected on March 27.
The A380 is nearly 80ft high, 260ft wide, and 240ft long – the equivalent of the length of two blue whales – and weighs about 590 tons.
Plane-spotters congregated at Sheldon Country Park to see the giant plane land.
An A380 will then arrive at 12:20pm on Easter Sunday, ready for the inaugural flight to Dubai departing at 2:20pm.
The flights are aimed at business and leisure travellers to Dubai, as well as commuters to a variety of Eastern destinations including Auckland, Islamabad, Bangkok, Mumbai and Hong Kong.
The plane can carry 557 passengers in economy class and 58 in business class, and replaces the current Boeing 777 lunchtime service.