Global Airlines A380 Makes Historic Landing at Prestwick Airport

A Global Airlines A380 arrives at Glasgow Prestwick Airport
Photo Credit: Global Airlines

Yesterday, Global Airlines celebrated a landmark occasion as their first fully owned Airbus A380 touched down in the United Kingdom.

The aircraft, 9H-GLOBL, touched down at touched down at Glasgow Prestwick Airport at 17:00 BST.

Arrival at Prestwick Airport

This arrival signifies a significant waypoint for the new airline, bringing them a step closer to launching commercial passenger flights.

Prestwick offers a strategic advantage for Global Airlines due to Europe’s established A380 infrastructure and expertise.

Now on European soil, MSN120, the aircraft’s manufacturer’s serial number, will undergo a complete interior refurbishment by Global’s partners.

Additionally, the airport will develop dedicated maintenance capabilities to support the A380, paving the way for passenger operations.

The much-awaited arrival follows a period of intense collaboration between Global Airlines, Hi Fly, Airbus, and various maintenance partners.

Since the airline’s inaugural flight on February 15th this year, this dedicated team has focused on returning the aircraft to service.

Their efforts included conducting necessary maintenance, securing regulatory approvals, and providing meticulous training for the Hi Fly crew using specialized simulators.

Transit from Mojave Air & Space Port

The historic transatlantic journey itself captured significant public attention. Departing Mojave Air & Space Port in California on April 30th, the aircraft was captained by Commander Carlos Mirpuri with a crew of three.

The A380 reached Montreal Mirabel International Airport for refueling after a 5 hour and 40-minute flight.

It then crossed the Atlantic directly to Prestwick, landing at runway 30 at its designated arrival time. The flight garnered immense online interest, becoming the most-tracked flight on Flightradar24 that day, with a peak viewership of nearly 40,000.

There Were Doubts!

Expressing his delight, James Asquith, CEO and Founder of Global Airlines, acknowledged the challenges overcome. “There were moments when I doubted the aircraft would leave America,” he admitted. “

“However, thanks to the incredible efforts of Airbus, Hi Fly, our maintenance partners, and our phenomenal Global team, we have our first aircraft in Europe, perfectly positioned to make significant strides forward.”

Spirit of Collaboration

He further emphasized the collaborative spirit, highlighting the “huge amounts of energy, resolve, and belief” poured into the project from both sides of the Atlantic.

Asquith also extended his gratitude to Glasgow Prestwick Airport for their enthusiastic support and the opportunity to collaborate with UK industry leaders in building A380 expertise.

Looking ahead, the Global Airlines team anticipates a busy summer focused on showcasing their unique offerings and innovations that will set them apart.

A380: An ‘Engineering Marvel’

Commander Carlos Mirpuri, Vice-Chairman of Hi Fly Group and the chief pilot for the flights, echoed the sentiment.

“This airplane is an engineering marvel,” he said with enthusiasm. “The journey across continents went exactly as planned.”

“I wish Global Airlines all the best as they complete the return-to-service process and allow passengers to experience the joy of flying this magnificent aircraft.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport CEO Ian Forgie expressed his delight at supporting Global Airlines in this crucial phase.

He noted, “This wasn’t just a significant moment for Global, but also for Prestwick Airport. It marked the first-ever A380 landing here, drawing a large crowd of aviation enthusiasts eager to witness this historic event.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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