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Dublin Airport celebrates 75th birthday

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Dublin Airport in 1940

Dublin Airport in 1940

Dublin Airport in 1940

Dublin Airport is celebrating its 75th birthday today and remembering when a small Aer Lingus plane took off from a grass runway to an airport on the outskirts of Liverpool in 1940.

But with war raging throughout Europe at the time, the airport was effectively mothballed for the next five years, with its only service being to Liverpool, or occasionally to Manchester.

The airport's first scheduled service to London commenced in November 1945, with a two-and-a-half hour direct flight to Croydon Airport. Connections to other British cities and continental European destinations were then added, and in April 1958 the first scheduled transatlantic service to New York began.

"Dublin Airport was established to connect Ireland with the world and 75 years on it is still fulfilling that goal," said Airport managing director Vincent Harrison.

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"In the 75 years since that inaugural flight, Dublin Airport has welcomed 435 million passengers, boosting Irish trade, tourism and investment and bringing together generations of families and friends," he added.

"This year we continue to expand and improve the operation to offer our customers more destinations and additional choice and flexibility, with 14 new services already announced for 2015."

To mark the big day, Dublin Airport has musical entertainment from the 1940s and 1950s in both terminals today, and an exhibition charting the airport's history has also been installed in Terminal 1.

Work at Dublin Airport, which was originally known as Collinstown Airport, began in 1937. It had previously been a base for the British Royal Air Force before the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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