Watch: World’s largest aircraft touches down at Shannon Airport with largest single delivery of PPE into Ireland

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The Antonov AN-225 carrying PPE for Ireland. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

The world’s largest aircraft, Antonov AN-225 touched down at Shannon Airport at approximately 2pm today carrying the largest consignment of Personal Protective Equipment to be flown into Ireland on a single flight.

Carrying almost 900,000 medical gowns for distribution in Ireland, it is second plane carrying PPE to arrive in Shannon Airport in the past few days, the last being a Boeing 737 which arrived on Monday, June 8.

Shannon Group CEO, Mary Considine told the Limerick Post the 3.2-kilometre runway is something “we are very proud of, and we love to see it used”.

With the longest runway in Ireland, Shannon Airport is the only facility capable of taking in the 276 foot Antonov AN-225 aircraft.

“We’re delighted to play our part, we have stayed open here to ensure we can facilitate cargo coming in like this with vital PPE for the health services,” she said.

Pointing to the almost 70 aircraft parked up at the airport, Ms Considine noted in what is a “tough time for aviation” the arrival of the Antonov AN-225 created “great excitement about the place”.

Niall Moloney, Shannon Airport’s Director of Airport Operations highlighted Shannon Airport staff “have been working on the front line ensuring the safe arrival of PPE cargo flights since the start of the crisis”.

“It’s an incredible aircraft and when you see ut in the taxiway here it dwarfs anything else on the airfield. When you take its enormous size into perspective, it’s almost unbelievable that it can get up into the skies, let alone be as graceful when ut’s up there,” he said.