Saturday 18 November 2017

Donegal airport voted second most scenic landing on earth

Donegal takes off

Donegal Airport. Photo by Owen Clarke, reproduced with permission from
Donegal Airport. Photo by Owen Clarke, reproduced with permission from
Saba Airport. Photo courtesy of PrivateFly, by Cess Timmers,
A small turbo prop aircraft plane flies over Toronto as it comes in to land at Billy Bishop Airport. Photo: Deposit
Barra Beach, UK. Photo:
An airplane approaches the runway at Princess Juliana International Airport, St. Maarten. Photo: Getty Images/Flickr Open
Queenstown Airport, New Zealand. Photo: Deposit
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Donegal Airport has been voted the world's No.2 scenic landing.

The Caribbean island of Saba topped the poll, conducted by private jet booking service PrivateFly, while Donegal placed second - ahead of several more famous approaches including Nice, London City, Queenstown (New Zealand) and Gibraltar.

The poll saw over 8,000 members of the public vote on a shortlist chosen by a panel of international travel experts, with 122 airports nominated.

PrivateFly's Top 10 Scenic Airports 2017:

  1. Saba (Juancho E Yrausquin Airport), Caribbean
  2. Donegal Airport, Ireland
  3. Nice Cote D'Azur Airport, France
  4. Gibraltar Airport, UK
  5. Queenstown Airport, New Zealand
  6. London City Airport
  7. St Maarten Airport (Princess Juliana International), Caribbean
  8. Orlando Melbourne Airport, USA
  9. Barra Airport, Scotland, UK
  10. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada

"You will not see anything like it anywhere else on earth," gushed one travel fan of Donegal Airport's stunning setting next to the Atlantic at Carrickfinn.

"Donegal at number two is rapidly becoming an AvGeek fan favourite," added Adam Twidell, CEO of and himself an experienced pilot.

Donegal Airport. Screengrab: Google Maps
Donegal Airport. Screengrab: Google Maps

"We couldn't have asked for a better endorsement, and we're delighted with the feedback," Pauline Sweeney, Marketing Manager, told Travel.

"It strengthens our believe that Donegal captivates from the first glimpse!

"I was on a flight myself from Scotland on Sunday, and you can see the coast the whole way down. It does you good to up in the air every now and again and look down on what we have here!"

Passenger numbers are up 15.7pc this year to date, Sweeney added.

Saba Airport. Photo courtesy of PrivateFly, by Cess Timmers,
Saba Airport. Photo courtesy of PrivateFly, by Cess Timmers,

Last year, Donegal placed seventh on the list - signalling growing global recognition for a tiny airstrip that hosts just two scheduled flights (Dublin and Glasgow).

The county is enjoying a run of awards this year, having already been named one of the world's coolest places to visits by National Geographic Traveller UK, and voted Ireland's Hidden Gem in and Weekend Magazine's Reader Travel Awards.

Saba (above) is home to the world's shortest commercial runway, at just 400m (1,321 feet) in length. Pilots must undergo special training to land at the airport.

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