An A380, the world’s largest commercial passenger aircraft, will be based at Manston this summer while pilots undergo flying training and cabin crew carry out familiarisation visits.
Charles Buchanan, chief executive of Manston Airport, said British Airways’ decision is the culmination of months of hard work.
“I am very proud that we will be playing our part in bringing such fantastic aircraft into service,” he said.
Once training is complete on the double-decker A380, British Airways will base a B787 Dreamliner at Manston for part of its entry into service programme.
Dave Thomas, British Airways’ head of flight technical and training, chief technical pilot at British Airways, said: “With one of the longest runways in the UK, Manston offers ideal facilities for our programme.”
British Airways has 12 A380s on order with flights due to start between London and Los Angeles in October.
The announcement comes just two months after KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched a twice-daily service from Manston to hub airport Schiphol, linking Kent with 130 destinations worldwide.
Manston Airport can already serve 1 million passengers per year but has a masterplan to accommodate 5 million or more.
In addition, the airport currently handles more than 30,000 tonnes of freight a year and has the capacity to deliver 165,000 tonnes by 2018.