Happy St. Patrick's Day!
17 March 2023
Saint Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland is celebrated on 17 March.
Ireland has a rich history for many reasons, including being involved in some key aviation milestones.
First duty free shop
An Irish businessman called Brendan O’Regan invented the concept of the duty-free shop. He established the world’s first duty-free shop at Shannon Airport in Ireland in 1947.
First Non-stop transatlantic flight
John Alcock and Arthur Brown were British aviators who made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified First World War Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Clifden, County Galway, Ireland. They made landfall in Clifden at 8:40 a.m. on 15 June 1919 after less than sixteen hours of flying.
First transatlantic commercial passenger flight
On the 9th July 1939, the first transatlantic commercial passenger flight operated by Pan Am from America touched down in Foynes Airport, County Limerick.
On 21 May 21 1932, Emilia Earhart landed in County Donegal, Ireland setting three world records. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, undertake the longest ocean flight (15 hours) and became the first person to fly across the Atlantic twice.
Ryanair – Europe’s largest airline
In 2019, Ryanair took the title of largest European airline based on annual passenger numbers of 148.6 million. This figure was pre-pandemic, but the airline has continued to bounce back with 2021-2022 passengers climbing back to 97 million. Founded on 8 July 1985 and famous for their low-cost business model, they now fly to 225 destinations with a fleet of 528.
Aer Lingus – National Airline of Ireland
Founded by the Irish Government, Aer Lingus was registered as an airline in 1936. It was privatised between 2006 and 2015 and it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of International Airlines Group (IAG) who also own British Airways. The airline’s head office is on the grounds of Dublin Airport in Cloghran, County Dublin.
Thank you to the Europe team for submitting this article. If you would like to share a story about a local celebration, please get in touch with Internal Communications.