UK lauded as superjumbo comes to Heathrow

British manufacturing was praised this week as the world's biggest passenger plane, the Airbus A380 superjumbo, flew from Singapore to London̵7;s Heathrow airport on its first commercial flight to Europe.

Singapore Airlines and manufacturer Airbus boast that the aircraft is the quietest and greenest big plane.

Singapore Airlines UK and Ireland general manager Marvin Tan said: "The arrival of the first commercial A380 flight to London will be a proud moment not only for Singapore Airlines but also for British aviation, with the magnificent wings of the aircraft made in Broughton, North Wales, and Filton, Bristol, and powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines."

Ian Godden, chief executive of the Society of British Aerospace companies, said: "Aerospace is a manufacturing success story in the UK, investing over £2.5 billion per year in research and development. Without the contributions from many British and British-based companies, air passengers around the world would literally not be able to get off the ground.

"The country should be proud of the enormous contribution that more than a quarter of a million UK aerospace workers make to keep the global economy moving. At a time when there is a widely-held perception that Britain no longer has much of a manufacturing industry the aerospace sector conclusively proves otherwise."

Singapore Airlines now has three A380s. Australian carrier Qantas is due to take delivery of the first of its superjumbos this summer, with Dubai-based airline Emirates beginning its A380 services from Dubai to London on December 1.

British Airways is due to take the first of its ordered A380s in 2012, with Sir Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, receiving its first superjumbo in 2013.

Image: Singapore Airlines has the honour of flying the A380's first commercial flight

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