As of 1 September 2010, Emirates has replaced the 777-300ER with the Airbus A380-800 on flights EK17/18 between Dubai and Manchester. In doing so Manchester Airport became the first regional airport in the world to host the Airbus A380.
Manchester Airport is not a hub and so defies Airbus’ hub > hub strategy for the plane. However, Emirates have had to turn passengers away on previous 777-300ER flights because there weren’t enough seats available. Only the A380 and her 517 seat capacity will do.
Dubai > Manchester, even through the recession has shown very little drop in demand, a demand even stronger than Dubai > New York. The only reason it has taken so long for A380 services to start at Manchester is because the airport had to become A380 ready and Emirates needed the higher capacity version of the plane.
Here she is arriving on 2nd September 2010. Even though this was not the inaugural visit (being the day after) she still attracted unexpected crowds of people.
The wings for the A380 are made approximately 40 miles away from Manchester at Broughton in North Wales.