The Airbus A380 super-jumbo is will make its European commercial debut today when a Singapore International Airlines (SIA) flight from Singapore lands at London's Heathrow (LHR) airport. SIA was the launch customer for the double-decker aircraft.
Flight SQ308 is due to arrive at Heathrow at 1505 GMT with up to 470 passengers.
Each of these passengers will receive a personalised certificate to commemorate the historic first flight to the UK.
SIA has three A380s in service, receiving the first one in October 2007, and has 16 more on order. So far they had been deployed on flights between Singapore and Sydney.
Heathrow operator, BAA, has constructed a special pier at Terminal 3 to accommodate the A380s, which will soon begin to arrive in larger numbers wearing the Emirates badge. Completed in 2006 at a cost of £105m, Pier 6, as it is known, will provide space for four of these double-deck airliners.
Other works had to be carried out on the airfield so as to make it capable of handling the world's largest commercial airliner, including resurfacing of the runway, upgraded lighting and changed taxiways.
Terminal 5, inaugurated by the Queen last week, will also be able to handle the airliner when it enters service with British Airways.
Amongst British airlines, British Airways has ordered 12 of the airliners, which it will begin to receive only from 2012, while Virgin Atlantic has ordered six, which it will begin to receive from 2013.