Stansted welcomes dozens of extra Champions League and Europa League flights, including first superjumbo service
Stansted Airport is on course for one of its busiest weeks of the year as thousands of football and boxing fans jet out to three major sporting events.
The airport’s first ever Airbus A380 passenger service is one of 40 additional football flights taking Chelsea and Arsenal supporters 2,500 miles to Wednesday's Europa League final in Azerbaijan capital Baku, while Liverpool and Spurs meet in the Champions League final in Madrid on Saturday.
With schools on half term, Ryanair has added flights to satisfy huge demand among fans, as scheduled services to popular holiday destinations in Spain and southern France are already fully booked.
In addition, Portuguese specialist charter airline Hi Fly will jet 300 boxing fans to New York on their A380 to see Antony Joshua’s heavyweight showdown against Andy Ruiz at Madison Square Garden.
Joining the A380 superjumbo this week are other aircraft not usually seen at Stansted, including Boeing 747s, Airbus A340s and several private jets.
Nick Millar, the airport's operations director, said: “This week is shaping up to be a very busy and complex time for our operations and terminal teams, particularly those working on the airfield.
"We will see several large aircraft that wouldn’t usually operate from London Stansted on a regular basis, including our first ever Airbus A380 passenger flight.
“The volume of flights and complexity of this week’s operations is not without its challenges, but we’re well used to dealing with high-profile and large-scale flight operations, including the 2012 Olympics, the Champions League Final in London and the arrival of Air Force One on numerous occasions.”
More by this authorPaul Winspear