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Inside story: A380 super jumbo

Simon Binns pokes around a posh plane and wishes he could live in it

Written by . Published on September 2nd 2010.

Inside story: A380 super jumbo

“Is that it?”

“No, that’s got easyjet written on it.”

In fairness, the A380 super jumbo jet coming into Manchester from Dubai yesterday was instantly noticeable. It could only have been more noticeable if it had attached a flag to itself with the words LOOK HOW MASSIVE I AM! emblazoned on it.

I didn’t want to get off, but it was heading back to Dubai and the Confidential publisher point blank refused to fork out the three large to take me up, up and away.

A packed observation tower applauded the 12.25pm touchdown, which was also watched by 10,000 people who had made the pilgrimage to the airport to watch it land. The spotters were out in force.

The service will be twice daily now, putting Manchester back on the long-haul map, according to outgoing managing director of Manchester Airports Group Andrew Cornish.He told Confidential that the arrival was “history for the airport and the city” and was hopeful Emirates would increase the number of A380s it puts through Manchester.

“It’s a dream come true for Manchester,” he said. “Emirates coming here demonstrates to the rest of the world that you don’t have to come through a capital city.”

He said the Dubai route could open up more long haul flights in important markets. “We’d like to do more in the US,” he said. “India and China are also key areas and will be important and emerging economies.

“The fact that the Manchester city region tends to fight for itself puts the city in a good position in a face of public spending cuts and is good for the airport.”But you probably don’t care about that do you?

You want to know what the plane was like. Fair enough. So did I.

It’s massive, obviously. It can hold 517 people – 427 in economy, 76 in business class and 14 lucky swine in first class. Some economy configurations may hold up to 853 people. A total economy fit out doesn’t seem Emirates style though, a company which has already ordered 90 of the more luxury monsters.

Business and first class are up the swirly silver staircase that leads to another world. You’re immediately confronted with a bar, a smiley person and two leather settees to relax on.

Fine dining, really wide seats and a massage if you need one awaits, as well as two spa showers in which to freshen up. It’ll set you back about £3,000 however. If you want to sit downstairs, you’re looking at about £800.

Make no mistake – the A380 is the Rolls Royce of planes with Rolls Royce engines. I didn’t want to get off, but it was heading back to Dubai and the Confidential publisher point blank refused to fork out the three large to take me up, up and away.

As we were ushered through to the Emirates Lounge for bubbly and free scran, it was smiles all round. Emirates bigwigs were happy, airport people were happy, even the pristinely-presented cabin crew were happy. But then, so would I be if I spent my flying life in an A380 airbus.

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Ryan12814September 24th 2010.


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