Pictured: Stephen Turner, Manchester airport commercial director and Sheldon Hee, Singapore Airlines’ UK and Ireland GM

Singapore Airlines’ first Airbus 350-900 transatlantic service took off from Manchester airport today.

The next generation twinjet will serve both Houston and Singapore from the north-west hub.

The aircraft features SIA’s new premium economy class cabin, including wider seats with more legroom and 13-inch touch screen monitors, and the latest business class.

The A350’s wings were assembled at Airbus’ £400 million factory in Broughton, Chester.

Manchester airport commercial director, Stephen Turner, said: “The introduction of Singapore Airlines’ A350 is a historic moment as we welcome this aircraft for the first time on a scheduled service here.

“The new direct services to Houston and Singapore are perfect examples of how Manchester airport is connecting to global markets to the east and the west.

“The commencement of this new modern aircraft not only gives our passengers the latest technology but also an additional class when flying with Singapore Airlines.”

SIA UK and Ireland general manager, Sheldon Hee, said: “We are excited to announce our inaugural A350 flight from the UK and delighted to see this happening from Manchester airport.

“The launch follows our recent announcement of new non-stop routes from Manchester to Houston and Singapore, and shows our commitment to the economy and people of the north-west.

“It is great to see that by working alongside Airbus our A350s have helped support jobs in the north-west and wider UK economy and also allowed this region to showcase itself as a hotbed of technological talent.”