Friday 14 December 2018

This Irish airport has been voted the world's most scenic landing

Top 10 Most Scenic Airport landings

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 topped a list of the world's most scenic landings - out-ranking some of the most famous airports on earth.

The Carrickfinn airport tops a poll conducted by private jet booking service PrivateFly, beating off Instagram favourites like St. Maarten and busy urban hubs like London City with its short slice of north-western magic.

The annual poll begins with a public vote, with selections then ranked by panel of travel experts. 112 airports were nominated in 8,500 votes.

PrivateFly's Top 10 Scenic Airports 2018

  1. Donegal Airport (Ireland)
  2. Barra Airport (Scotland)
  3. Nice Airport (France)
  4. Queenstown Airport (New Zealand)
  5. Saba Airport (Netherlands Antilles)
  6. Orlando Melbourne International Airport (USA)
  7. Toronto Billy Bishop (Canada)
  8. London City Airport (England)
  9. St Maarten (Netherlands Antilles)
  10. Miami Airport (USA)

“The Top 10 is an annual bucket list for travel fans, a fascinating mix of global descents to fly in your lifetime," said PrivateFly CEO Adam Twidell.

"We're happy out!" says Pauline Sweeney, the airport's marketing manager.

"We're so proud to have Donegal Airport on the global stage, so a huge thanks goes out to everyone who took the time to vote."

Despite operating just two routes - to Dublin and Glasgow - Donegal Airport has steadily scaled the ratings in recent years, progressing from seventh place in Privatefly's 2016 poll to second place last year.

Voters described the approach to Carrickfinn in glowing terms:

"You fly in low over the tiny airport building with the conical mass of quartitze that is Errigal mountain on your right and sweep out over an emerald sea with the perma-white froth of the Wild Atlantic Way lashing the many tiny rocky islands in a turquoise sea... Then the pilot completes his turn and dashes back towards the crescent of golden sand that is Carrickfin beach."

"These are the best views in the world," Sweeney adds. "For returning emigrants, it gives them a first taste of home... it's a very special location."

NB: The annual Donegal Charity Parachute Jump takes place on August 4-5. See or for more info, or contact to enquire about participating.

Read more:

A Circuit of Donegal: 12 great reasons to visit The Forgotten County

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