England

Gatwick cleared for A380 superjumbo flights

Emirates Airbus A380
Image caption An Emirates Airbus A380 was the first to land at Manchester on 1 September

Gatwick Airport has been granted planning permission to operate the world's largest commercial airliner, the 555-seat Airbus A380 superjumbo.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which operate from the West Sussex airport, have both ordered the plane.

Previously, Heathrow and Manchester were the only UK airports to regularly accommodate the aircraft, first flown by Singapore Airlines in October 2007.

It landed at Manchester for the first time on 1 September.

'Represents the future'

Gatwick has spent £43m preparing for the A380, with two of its six new large aircraft stands able to accommodate it.

Planning permission was granted by Crawley Borough Council.

"The Airbus A380 represents the future of long-haul aviation," said Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate.

"It's modern, more efficient and uses less fuel per passenger, and we want Gatwick to be at the centre of this exciting new era of long-haul travel."

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