A PAISLEY-BORN pilot had the honour of flying Emirates’ 20th anniversary flight into Glasgow Airport.

The airline’s inaugural flight between Glasgow and Dubai flew on April 10, 2004, and First Officer Lewis Ferguson says he was "thankful" when he was asked to fly Wednesday’s flight around a month ago.

The iconic A380 was welcomed to its gate by piper Kyle Rowan.

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Glasgow Times:

Lewis, who was flying into Glasgow Airport for the third time with Emirates, said: "It feels completely unreal, it was a privilege to be asked to do it.

"Ten years ago, I was stood at the perimeter fence before I started my flight training watching the first A380 land so it’s a real moment to be asked to do it."

Lewis worked for easyJet for six years after doing his flight training in 2016 with Flight Training Europe and worked in Spain before being based in Glasgow but wanted to "try something different" so applied to work for Emirates.

He says it was "surreal" when he finally joined the company in June last year after having initially been accepted in 2019 but was delayed due to Covid.

Glasgow Times: Piper Kyle RowanPiper Kyle Rowan (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

The 30-year-old said: "Seeing this aircraft [A380] land here I thought 'that’s what I want to do' and do all the different routes [Emirates] do with the worldwide network.

"I stayed with easyJet during Covid but then got back in with Emirates after that."

Lewis says living in Dubai is "amazing" and he is enjoying "travelling to all corners of the globe".

He added: "I love the lifestyle in Dubai going to the beach every day and the weather’s good.

"I went to Mauritius a few weeks ago, that was amazing, and I did Bali last month, and I go to Melbourne in a couple of weeks’ time.

"You just don’t know where you’ll end up every month."

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Glasgow Times:

Before he did his flight training, Lewis worked at Glasgow Airport in airport security for six months when he was 18 which gave him the motivation to follow his dream and become a pilot.

The former St Andrew’s Academy pupil said: "I’m just a boy from Paisley, I went to school in Paisley, you just need to be determined, never give up and believe in yourself.

"That’s what it takes."

Glasgow Times:

Lewis has wanted to be a pilot since he was in primary school because his mum Amanda Fryar also works in the aviation industry.

When she left school, Amanda wanted to be cabin crew but says she was "very short", so she decided to start her career at Glasgow Airport and she’s "never looked back since".

Amanda says it was "such an accolade" Lewis was asked to fly in the 20th anniversary flight and was on the tarmac watching his arrival, with Lewis’ dad watching from the perimeter fence and his sister Anya also working in the Emirates Lounge.

Glasgow Times: FO Lewis Ferguson being welcomed to Glasgow Airport by his mum AmandaFO Lewis Ferguson being welcomed to Glasgow Airport by his mum Amanda (Image: Gordon Terris, Newsquest)

She said: "What an achievement for him.

"For the family, friends, neighbours, it’s such an accolade for Lewis to be asked to do that.

"We’re from Paisley, he was brought up in Paisley, he was born in Paisley, Glasgow Airport is in Paisley, so he’s flying this aircraft back into his hometown.

"Nobody can believe he’s been asked to do this, especially after such a short time of being with the airline, it’s a great experience he’s been chosen to bring this aircraft in."

Glasgow Times:

Amanda has worked at Glasgow Airport since 1991 after starting with British Midland International (BMI) and has worked in various roles including as a load controller and duty manager.

She has been with Emirates for the last 12 years and is currently an airport services officer overseeing the day-to-day running of the operation "above wing" including the check-in desk, lounge and arrival area, and "below wing" ensuring the daily Emirates service arrives and departs safely and overseeing ramp operations such as luggage getting loaded and offloaded.

Amanda said: "Every day is different.

"The [variety of] people you meet is unbelievable from all walks of life.

"There is a right buzz around the airport. We’ve got so much freedom, although you’re working, there’s so much to do at the airport, there’s a variety of duties that need to be done in a day, so you’re never stuck in one place.

"It’s an amazing place to be around and you work with amazing people."

When Lewis also started working for Emirates, Amanda says she was "absolutely elated" to see him "following in my footsteps".

The 53-year-old said: "Me, his dad and sister all felt so proud of him when he went out to Dubai.

"He sees Emirates as being the creme de la creme and that’s the way we all feel about it.

"To be flying the A380 is an unbelievable achievement."