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      Friday 04 Sep 2009

      The world’s largest commercial airliner, the 525-seat Airbus A380, is scheduled to make its first visit to Northern Ireland on September 5, where it will be seen by members of the public and thousands of workers from across the country who have played a part in bringing the iconic plane to reality. The aircraft is scheduled to perform a flying display at the Northern Ireland International Airshow at Portrush, and a fly-over at The George Best Belfast City Airport before departing for other flights in England and Wales.
      Tom Williams, Airbus Executive Vice-President, Programmes said: “The aircraft’s first visit to Northern Ireland will be a memorable day for everyone, and demonstrates that designing and building great planes is what Airbus is all about. The Northern Irish aerospace industry supports approximately 40 companies, including Base Group, Maydown Precision, Huddleston Engineering and Moyola Precision--all suppliers for Airbus aircraft. We hope they are all proud of what they’ve helped build. The A380 is the flagship of the 21st century and sets new standards in eco-efficient aviation.”

      Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter D. Robinson MP MLA said: “The Airbus A380 stands as an example to the world of what our local aviation industry can achieve. The aircraft is a huge technological success that is set to dominate air travel for years to come. I would like to congratulate all those involved on their huge achievement.”

      Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA said: “The aviation industry has been a major contributor to the local economy, supplying component parts for some of the world’s most successful aircraft. The debut visit by the Airbus A380 is a tribute to the skill and determination of those who have worked to make this aircraft the success that it is.”

      Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said of the visit: “Our local aerospace sector is one of the largest and most successful business clusters here, with our design and engineering companies being important partners in the design, development and manufacture of innovative new aircraft, such as the Airbus 380. The fly-overs will showcase the excellence of our companies and give those who have worked directly, and the wider public, the chance to see the final results of their contribution.”

      The aircraft, MSN1, is an Airbus flight test aircraft. It will be flown by a five-man crew, including Harry Nelson, a former RAF pilot and a Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow. During this visit to the UK, it also will fly over the airports in Edinburgh and Prestwick in Scotland, Birmingham International Airport in England, and Broughton in North Wales, where Airbus employees will be celebrating 40 years of Airbus during a Families Day.

      Eighteen A380s have been delivered to three airlines: Emirates, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. The in-service fleet has flown more than 6,450 commercial flights carrying more than 2.5 million passengers.

      Being greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter, the A380 is already setting new standards for air transport and the environment. In addition to offering unequalled levels of passenger comfort, space and quietness in the cabin, the A380 has unmatched levels of operating costs and fuel efficiency, consuming less than three litres per passenger per 100 kilometres. The in-service experience has shown that the A380 consumes 20 percent less fuel per seat than the previous largest aircraft, representing the lowest fuel burn of any large aircraft ever. The A380 not only complies with today’s noise limits, it is also significantly quieter than any other large aircraft flying today. With a range of 8,200 nm/15,200 km, the A380 is the ideal equipment to alleviate traffic congestion at busy airports, while coping with growth. Orders for the aircraft stand at 200 from 16 customers.

      Airbus is a leading aircraft manufacturer offering four highly successful families of aircraft, ranging from 107 to 525 seats. It is the most modern, comprehensive and eco-efficient product line on the market. Airbus in the UK is world-renowned for its centres of excellence for both wing design and manufacture, and designs and integrates landing gear and fuel systems for the Airbus fleet.
      Please follow the A380 as it tours the UK on Twitter at A380flyvisit.