Former Transaero aircraft moved as sea cargo in Ireland

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Picture: Alan Place/Fusionshooters

A Boeing 767 that was used by former Russian carrier Transaero Airlines that will be transformed into glamorous holiday campsite facility is being hauled up Irish West Coast in barge.

The decommissioned Boeing767 aircraft is set to make land on the Irish West Coast tomorrow morning after being moved by barge on the high seas in a mammoth 36 hour exercise from Shannon Airport.

Transaero filed for bankruptcy on 1 October 2015 due to huge debts, and announced that it would cease all operations by 15 December 2015. However, Russian authorities revoked its operating license on 26 October 2015.

Hundreds of people were on hand at the airport over recent days and legions more stopped at various points along the Shannon Estuary to catch a glimpse of what is amongst the most unique sea cargos ever to sail out of the West Coast of Ireland.

The 36 hour journey was the third stage in huge logistics exercise that begun last weekend when the wings were removed from the aircraft.

A team of 60 airport staff and logistics people working with David McGowan were then involved in the second phase as the 159-foot long aircraft, which weighs 50 tonnes, was transferred yesterday to nearby Knockbeg Point, on the periphery of the airport complex, where it was loaded onto a barge at high tide, allowing the estuary and ocean journey to begin last evening.

Tonight the barge will dock in the North West coast of Ireland, at Killala, in County Mayo, across the bay from where – tides and weather permitting – the aircraft will be unloaded at around 07.00h tomorrow.

Shannon Airport property manager, Diedre Whitney says that Shannon has worked with all sorts of cargo over the years but never moved anything as unique as this or in this way.

“We have worked on many, many different projects over the years but never anything quite like this.  I don’t think we will be seeing its likes again too soon, if ever,” she adds.

“We’ve kept abreast of progress since the barge and aircraft left here last evening and are delighted its sailing smoothly. It is really going to make a huge contribution to tourism in Enniscrone.  No doubt we will have many people flying in here in one aircraft and traveling up the west coast to stay in another. It would certainly make for a unique holiday.”