Cardiff and Stansted airports were put to the test yesterday when British Airway’s Airbus A380 touched down ahead of its official launch this autumn.
BA said it hopes Cardiff will be able to handle the A380 if a diversion from Heathrow is needed.
The tests also showed how the airports can accommodate larger aircraft as both look to increase flight options after being taking over by new owners. Cardiff Airport was acquired by the Welsh government earlier this year, while Stansted is now owned by Manchester Airport Group.
“This is a big day for us at Cardiff; welcoming the world’s largest commercial airliner to Wales and showcasing Cardiff’s capability. The airport is able to accept large aircraft and this is the first A380 to operate here, and the first opportunity for the airport team to handle one. Today was a very successful collaboration and proves to the world the opportunity in operating in Cardiff,” said Cardiff Airport’s CEO Jon Horne.
Andrew Harrison, managing director at Stansted added: “Airlines using aircraft such as the A380 are exactly the type of carriers we are looking to attract to Stansted as we compete to win new business and put the airport back on a path to growth. Today was a test flight for BA and its A380 but it’s a significant milestone for Stansted and recognition we can accommodate any aircraft from anywhere in the world. Stansted has the ability to double the number of flights it handles almost overnight.”