Airbus regularly uses Shannon Airport as part flight test programme as part of aircraft certification before new aircraft enter commercial service. The winter storms saw Airbus new Airbus A321XLR model currently undergoing certification process route from Toulouse to Shannon to take advantage of the strong strong wind conditions.

F-WXLR Airbus A321-253NY msn 11000 Airbus painted “Flying Xtra Long Range” special colours visit Shannon on two occasions in September 2023 during the passing of Storm ‘Agnes’ and 23 January during Storm ‘Jocelyn’ with cross winds in excess of 40 knots during storms.

In recent years new Airbus types have visited Airbus A380-800 September 2006, Airbus A320neo August 2016, Airbus A330neo March 2018 and October 2018 and August 2022 ,  Airbus A319neo July 2019, Airbus A321neo September 2017 and December 2021,  Airbus 330-743L Beluga XL August 2019.

The 3,200m runway at Shannon is the longest in Ireland with unrestricted operations with no slots or curfews can cater for all certification and training flights, especially during the winter valley period.

Image Credit: Airbus

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 6 February 2024 All Rights Reserved