An Airbus A380 touched down at Ireland West Airport yesterday – the world’s largest passenger aircraft, and the largest ever to land at Knock.
he double-decker plane was delivered to Eirtrade Aviation Limited, a global technical assets services and trading company, which has a facility at the airport.
With a capacity for 868 passengers, the Airbus A380 has become an iconic 21st century aircraft. This one, a former Air France plane, took off from Germany and will be parked and stored at Ireland West Airport.
There, it will be disassembled.
Last year, Airbus has announced that it would end production of its flagship superjumbo, just 12 years after it entered commercial service.
The firm said it had made the “painful” decision after struggling to sell the world’s largest passenger jet and after Emirates chose to slash its A380 orderbook by around a quarter.
Deliveries of the iconic double-decker will cease in 2021 – however, it is likely to remain in service and draw plane-spotters to airports for years to come.
Eirtrade has completed similar disassembly projects on Boeing 737 and 757 series aircraft, as well as Airbus A320 aircraft at Ireland West.
Its business is expected to lead to similar projects in the near term for the facility at Ireland West – which recently completed the rehabilitation and overlay of its main, 2,400m runway and has received zoning approval for a Strategic Development Zone, the airport said in a statement.
The Airport Board is continuing discussions with Government and stakeholders with regards to the construction of a large hangar facility that would support the further development of aircraft disassembly, repair and maintenance at Knock, it says.