IT is the end of an era at Airbus' Broughton factory as giant wings for the A380 depart for Toulouse in France for the last time.

The A380 "Superjumbo" launched in 2007 but production of the wings for the giant 550-seat aircraft came to an end at Broughton today (Thursday, February 6).

Waning interest in the giant passenger plane has been put down to its equally giant cost and the rising cost of fuel.

Rhyl Journal:

The Airbus A380. (Photo: Cwmni Da)

In their lifetime, the A380 wings, until today made at Broughton, will carry the plane more than 52 million miles in a 30-year flying career.

Rhyl Journal:

The Airbus barge negotiates the River Dee. (Photo: Cwmni Da)

But first they had to navigate18 miles on a barge along the River Dee, beneath four low bridges, a journey that is happening for the last time today.

Each wing is 45 metres long, 12 metres wide and weighs 35 tons.

Last year, North Wales television company Cwmni Da made a documentary, from which the photos accompanying this article were taken, about the journey taken by the giant wings of the A380 that was shown in 50 countries.

The last A380 will be delivered to Emirates next year.

Airbus has yet to make a decision on the long-term future of the Broughton West Factory. The Broughton wing-making facility will continue to produce both the A320 and A350.