Pinoy piloted A380 to Manila
Rudy Santos (The Philippine Star) - October 9, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Filipino piloted the world’s largest passenger airplane that made its first landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Tuesday night.

Carrying 517 passengers, Emirates Airlines Airbus A380 Flight EK334 arrived at the NAIA at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The pilot of the huge aircraft is Capt. Franklin Mallari Desiderio, who has been with Emirates for the last five years. Prior to that, he was a Philippine Airlines pilot. He started flying at 16 and has been flying for the last 18 years.

“I can’t describe how happy I am now,” Desiderio said about piloting the Emirates Airbus A380, which he described as a “flying gentle giant.”

Emirates Airbus A380 has a design range of 15,700 kilometers, sufficient to fly nonstop from Dubai to Los Angeles. It has a speed of Mach 0.85 or about 900 km/h, 560 mph at cruising altitude.

“They put all those good stuff together in this aircraft. It is so easy to maneuver and so roomy and comfortable, we flew from Dubai to Los Angeles for 16 and a half hours, and still felt good at the end of our flight,” Desiderio added.

President Aquino, Transportation Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado and officials of Emirates Airlines witnessed the arrival of the A380 from the view deck of boarding gate 115.

They then proceeded to the immigration area to meet arriving passengers and to observe how immigration officers process the documents of the passengers.

Prior to the arrival of the huge airplane, immigration officials at the NAIA Terminal 3 were worried because only one passport-reading machine was available to process the passports of more than 500 incoming passengers, and President Aquino would be around to see it.

Before Tuesday noon, 20 passport-reading machines were installed in preparation for the arrival of Emirates Airbus A380. Immigration officials said suppliers suddenly brought the machines.

A FILIPINO BEFORE TUESDAY DESIDERIO DUBAI EMIRATES AIRBUS EMIRATES AIRLINES EMIRATES AIRLINES AIRBUS FRANKLIN MALLARI DESIDERIO LOS ANGELES PRESIDENT AQUINO
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