AIRBUS supremo Brian Fleet will say his final farewells this week as he retires at 54.

Brian, senior vice-president and head of wing and pylon centre of excellence at the Broughton factory, is leaving after 36 years in the company.

He is standing down to spend more time with his wife Debbie, 50, and travel the world.

Brian told the Leader: “It does feel strange because I have been involved with Airbus for the last 36 years.

“I started as an apprentice with my O-Levels still in my hand and worked my way up. I’ve been a part of the wing production for every aircraft in the Airbus family, from the A300 to the A380, which is a rare honour.

“It’s been a major part of my life but I’m going while I’m still in good health.

“I am closing the work chapter on my life.”

Since he announced his retirement in October, he has picked up a CBE from the Queen.

Brian and Debbie, who live in Bebington, Wirral, have three children – Kelly, 27, who is a doctor, Mark, 26, who works at Bank of America and Paul, 24, who works for Deloitte.

Replacing Brian will be Marc Barclay who is joining Airbus from aerospace giant Thales and brings with him nearly 30 years of experience.

The pair have been working together since May to ensure the handover goes smoothly.

“I had no say in who my successor would be but I am very pleased with Marc,” added Brian.

“He has also worked for a company which has a global presence and is very used to dealing on a European stage.

“I think he is a very well suited and apt replacement.”

He added: “I have been there and got the t-shirt. Now it’s time to sit in the sun.”

Brian’s last day will be on Friday.