Emirates is to introduce its first A380 service in Scotland with flights between Glasgow and Dubai.

With a wing span of nearly 80 metres, the A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft and can carry almost 500 passengers in economy, business and first class suites.

It will enter operation at Glasgow Airport on April 16 next year with regular flights until the end of the summer season in October.

Airport managing director Mark Johnston said: “The decision by Emirates to introduce the A380 is not only a huge milestone for Glasgow Airport, it marks what is a first in Scottish aviation industry.

“We have forged a valued relationship with Emirates since its inaugural flight in April 2004 and the introduction of Scotland’s first-ever scheduled A380 service represents a major vote of confidence in the city.

“We are currently investing in excess of £8 million in our infrastructure to ensure Glasgow Airport is ready to welcome this iconic aircraft when it touches down next April.”

Richard Jewsbury, divisional vice president UK for Emirates, said: “Scotland is a key part of our success in the UK and we are pleased to be bringing the A380 to Glasgow.

“The Emirates A380 is one of the most iconic aircraft in the world and it continues to delight passengers.”

Glasgow business leaders said the announcement was showed there was confidence in the city.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “This increase in capacity is a huge vote of confidence in Glasgow Airport and in Scotland as a whole.

“It further strengthens our connectivity with the United Arab Emirates, as well as with markets in Asia, Africa and Australasia which are important for Scottish business and our vital tourism sector.”