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The 747-8 Freighter touched down on UK soil for the very first time at Stansted Airport on Friday.
Boeing’s new superjumbo is the first of three to be based at the airport by IAG Cargo, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia.
The fleet will operate scheduled cargo flights to destinations such as Hong Kong, Atlanta, Houston and Shanghai.
Stansted Airport’s managing director, Nick Barton, said: “We're delighted IAG Cargo, through its brand British Airways World Cargo, has selected Stansted as their UK base from where its three new generation 747-8F will operate. Stansted is already London’s second busiest cargo airport and third overall in the UK and the introduction of these planes will increase our operational capabilities and provide a boost to businesses in the region looking to expand and exploit new markets and opportunities.
“We have invested millions in upgrading our infrastructure to accommodate the new generation of super jets, and last year we gained official approval to operate the world’s largest aircraft. Today is a major milestone in the history of the airport as we welcome the first 747-8F.
“The arrival of these fantastic new jets not only increases our operational and business capabilities but they also bring significant environmental benefits as they are 30% quieter and produce 16% less emission than the aircraft they replace. This is also very welcome news as we continue to drive down our operational effects on the communities around the airport.”
A water cannon salute performed by the airport’s fire service showered the arrival, and airport staff welcomed the plane to its new home just before 7.30am on Friday.