THOUSANDS of spectators young and old gathered on the perimeter of Glasgow Airport to watch aviation history being made, writes Holly Lennon

The world's largest commercial passenger plane, the A380, touched down at the Paisley airport for the first time since 2014 on Tuesday evening.

Over £8 million has been spent upgrading Glasgow Airport to allow the aircraft to operate a regular service - including introducing Scotland’s only triple airbridge.

The Gazette:

A piper greeted the double decker super-jumbo jet on the tarmac with a rendition of Flower of Scotland.

Read more: Emirates A380: Glasgow Airport restrictions put into place

Mark Johnston, managing director of Glasgow Airport described it as a "big day" for the travel hub.

He added: "We welcomed the A380 back in 2014 and it was on a one-off rotation but this is the start of a scheduled daily service.

"We've invested over £8m. We've increased the size of the pier and made changes on the airfield.

"This was a natural progression. Emirates started as a once a day service 15-years-ago, then went to twice a day and the aircraft size increased and now we've got the A380.

The Gazette:

“We’ve been planning this moment since it first arrived in 2014. The project on the ground has been going on six months and our team has been fantastic.

“We knew we would get excitement but the staff and everyone around the airport have really enjoyed tonight.”

Standing over 24 metres high and with a wing span of nearly 80 metres, the massive double decker aircraft will have a three-class cabin configuration, offering 14 private suites in first class, 76 lie flat seats in business, and 399 seats in economy.

Read more: Massive double decker Emirates jet to take 500 passengers from Glasgow to Dubai

Jon Sheppard, head of commercial at Emirates, said: "We're very excited because today marks the first time we've had a scheduled A380 flying into Scotland. It's also timely because it was fifteen years last week since we launched to Glasgow to Dubai route.

"It seems like timing for us to bring it here and it's great news for Scotland and it's a great celebration of our partnership with Glasgow Airport.

"In that time we've carried 4.5 million passengers and beyond to 150 destinations.

"It's an aircraft like no other. We have shower spas, on flight lounge,more than a thousand channels of entertainment and wifi. Wherever we take it - it's well received.

The Gazette:

"Our second runway in Dubai is being upgraded and we thought this would be a great time to bring the A380 into service in Glasgow."

Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay, who attended the jet’s arrival, said: “This represents enhanced connectivity and capacity for Scotland and Glasgow Airport.

“An aircraft of this size coming shows a vote of confidence in the city, in the country and the economy generally. It’s great news.”

In numbers: 

489 – Capacity for passengers, the same as the main auditorium in Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre.

575 – Tonnes the aircraft can weigh.

£8 million – Spent by Glasgow Airport upgrading the runway and infrastructure to support the A380.

79.8 metres – Wingspan of the superjumbo, more than twice the height of Glasgow Cathedral.

The Gazette:

29,340 – Meals due to be served every single month on the Glasgow to Dubai route.

24 – Emirates cabin crew on every flight, meaning the six-month service will be supported by 4,320 crew.

15,000 – Maximum kilometres flown between take-off and landing, one of the longest-ranges in the world.

14 – Private suites on board with the option of selecting your own meal and bed times.

43,100ft – Cruising altitude.

15 – Years since Emirates first arrived in Glasgow.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond