The world’s largest aircraft has landed at Shannon Airport with the largest single delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) ever to be flown into Ireland.
The massive six-engine Antonov An-225 jet landed at Shannon earlier.
Shannon Airport hosts the world’s largest aircraft for delivery of PPE.
The massive six-engine Antonov An-225 jet delivered the largest single delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be flown into Ireland.
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) June 10, 2020
The plane was carrying 900,000 medical gowns, to add to the 100,000 that were flown in in two days ago.
The HSE said the one million total represents just 12-and-a-half days worth of stock based on current demand.
Shannon has the longest runway in the country, and is therefore the only airport suitable for the aircraft to land.
Shannon Airport’s Director of Operations Niall Maloney said the plane’s arrival marked a “big day” for the area.
“As a country, we have suffered over the last 10 weeks in terms of the impact of the COVID pandemic on the country,” he said.
“Aviation in particular has been seriously hit during this period of time. We are a small airport; it is a struggle and something like this is very serious for employment and the likes.
“But to be fair, as a community, what we committed to doing was to keep this airport open so we can make out contribution towards the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 276-foot aircraft arrived from China and is expected to remain overnight before departing for Kiev on Thursday.
The Antonov An-225 is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft, which was originally designed by the then Soviet Union's Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s.
It is the only flying plane of its kind and longest and heaviest airplane ever built.
Powered by six engines, it is able to take off with a maximum weight of 640 tons.
It stands over six storeys high on 32 wheels, and has a wingspan the width of Croke Park.