Business news

History beckons as Dublin Airport prepares to welcome largest ever commercial aircraft

Posted By:
Dublin Airport

15th Jan 2024

A little bit of history will be made at Dublin Airport on Tuesday evening (January 16) when a 747-8 aircraft will arrive for the first ever time – making it the largest ever commercial aircraft to arrive at Dublin Airport.

The Air Chine aircraft, carrying Chinese Premier Li Qiang, is scheduled to arrive into Dublin Airport shortly after 7pm. It is expected to arrive on Dublin Airport’s southern runway, depending on weather and operating conditions.

Premier Li will arrive into Dublin Airport at the start of a two day visit to Ireland, during which he will meet with President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, before departing from Dublin Airport on the same aircraft on Wednesday afternoon.

The Boeing 747-8 aircraft has a wingspan of 68 metres and 76 metres long, which is biggeer than the current largest commercial aircraft to land at Dublin Airport – the B747-400 which has a wingspan measuring 64 metres and is 71 long. The largest aircraft of any kind to land at Dublin is the military Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, with a wingspan of 67 metres and a length of 75 metres, which visited Dublin in 2019.

Last year also saw the visit to Dublin Airport of Air Force One, which has a wingspan of 60 metres and a length of 70 metres.

According to Graeme Mc Queen, Media Relations Manager at daa, the operator of Dublin Airport: “This will be the biggest commercial aircraft to ever land at Dublin Airport and will join the long list of landmark moments in the long history of the airport, which this week celebrates its 84th birthday. The runways at Dublin Airport have just about seen it all over the past eight decades, from numerous US Presidents, through to The Beatles and several Popes, but this is a first and the arrival of a 747-8 aircraft will mark yet another significant milestone for the airport. The team at Dublin Airport is looking forward to welcoming Premier Li, his delegation and all of the passengers on board the 747-8 on Tuesday evening.”