The world’s largest charter airline is to use Shannon Airport to train pilots on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets.
Thomson Airways, which is based in the UK, is due to take delivery of its first three Dreamliners shortly and will operate its first commercial flight on Jun 21.
The Dreamliner has been plagued by problems since entering service last year. Airlines were forced to ground the jets in January following a number of serious incidents involving batteries overheating.
Operators have, however, started to return their jets to service after Boeing remedied the problem. The plane is billed as the most fuel-efficient jet ever built.
The first of Thomson’s Dreamliners is due to be delivered to Manchester on May 31. The airline will spend three weeks next month at Shannon training crews before the jet enters transatlantic service in July.
A ‘staff proving’ flight will take place from Manchester to London Gatwick on Jun 13 while line training will commence soon afterwards.
Head of operations and services at Shannon, Niall Maloney said: “Shannon has always been to the forefront of flight training and new technology and has a proud history of facilitating all types of aircraft.
“Concorde trained here as did the Airbus A380 while several airlines continue to use Shannon for training.
“Thomson’s decision to use Shannon further highlights the potential of the airport with the longest runway in Ireland and excellent weather conditions for such training flights.”
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