The largest type of passenger aircraft in the world landed at Ireland West Airport for the first time today.
The massive Airbus A380 - with two decks - has a capacity of up to 868 passengers.
But it was a case of first and last - as the ex-Air France plane won't be taking off again. The plane is being scrapped.
Eirtrade Aviation Limited, a global technical assets services and trading company, has taken delivery of the aircraft at its facility at Ireland West Airport.
It specialises in the complex "disassembly" of aircraft, and has completed similar projects on the Boeing 737, 757 series aircraft and the Airbus A320s.
Indeed, Donegal passengers using Ireland West Airport may well get used to seeing more giant A380s in the months ahead.
It is expected that this major coup for the company will lead to further similar projects in the near term for the facility at Ireland West Airport.
The aircraft arrived from Germany.
According to flyinginireland.com the first batch of Airbus A380’s have started to be retired after just over 10 years in service.
Air France plans to retire their remaining nine A380’s before the end of 2022.
The aircraft that arrived at Ireland West Airport fleet completed its last commercial flight on December 31, 2019 flying from Shanghai to Paris. It then flew to Germany where it was returned to its lessor, the Dr. Peters Group.
The scarping of the plane is a significant development for Ireland West Airport.
The Airport Board is continuing discussions with the government and its stakeholders in relation to the construction of a large hangar facility that would support the further development of aircraft disassembly, repair and maintenance at the airport.
Meanwhile, the authorities at the airport recently completed the rehabilitation and overlay of the main runway.
The airport has also received zoning approval for a Strategic Development Zone for the land bank in and around the airport.
This, in turn, could lead to the creation of an aviation hub and significant job creation in the region.
A significant number of people from Co. Donegal use Ireland West Airport every year. For many, it is more convenient than Dublin or Belfast, and being a much smaller airport, it takes much of the stress out of travelling. The number of destinations served by Ireland West Airport has grown considerably over the past 20 years.
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