Work on Travolta jet greases wheels of local economy

John Travolta speaks at a function celebrating the 50th anniversary of Qantas trans-Pacific services to the USA at Hangar One, Brisbane International Airport May 12, 2004 in Brisbane, Australia Photo: Getty Images

A luxury jet owned and flown by Hollywood star John Travolta arrived in Shannon this week to have an engine replaced -- just 19 months after it was grounded there for four weeks after developing mechanical problems.

Two Shannon companies have been chosen by the 54-year-old millionaire actor to carry out the work at Shannon Airport.

The aircraft is being "handled" on the ground at Shannon by Signature Flight Support while the engine replacement is being undertaken by another airport-based company, Omega Aviation Services.

Both companies have been used in the past by Travolta to work on the aircraft although "nothing is set in stone", one source said.

Travolta purchased the Boeing 707-138B jet 12 years ago and still flies the now famous plane under Qantas airlines 1960s livery and his personalised registration number N707JT. Travolta even bought an airport near Ocala, Florida and built a home next to the 7,500-foot runway for the jet which was originally built for Qantas in 1964.

On April 2 last year however, the 44-year-old plane was grounded at Shannon for a month after a fault was discovered in its number two engine.

He has not travelled to Ireland on this occasion but he has not been left without a way to get around as he also owns three other private jets.

The business is a welcome boost for Shannon and is estimated to be worth tens of thousands of euro each time.

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