Donegal Airport at Carrickfinn has been voted the world’s most beautiful landing spot.
This time last year, Donegal Airport came in second in the poll conducted by private jet booking service PrivateFly.
However, news that it is now considered the most beautiful landing spot in the world will come as a major boost, not just to the airport itself, but to tourism in the county.
The news was revealed at today’s Municipal District meeting in Donegal town by a delighted Barney McLaughlin, the head of tourism with Donegal County Council.
The Caribbean island of Saba topped the poll last year. However, Carrickfinn Airport is now No. 1, ahead of Barra Airport in Scotland, which came second, and Nice Airport in France which came in third.
Anne Bonner, Managing Director of Donegal Airport said: “Having been voted in the top ten in the last two years we are delighted to have been voted No. 1 airport landing in 2018. It is indeed a great endorsement from the travelling public and aviation/travel experts putting Donegal firmly on the map of the world’s places to visit."Donegal as a location was also chosen by National Geographic in 2017 ‘as the coolest place on the planet’ and what better way to explore Donegal than to fly into the World’s most scenic airport.”
Pauline Sweeney, Marketing Manager of Donegal airport, said:
“I am delighted with the result and proud to have Donegal Airport on the global stage; a big thank you to everyone who took the time the votes.
“In addition to our regular customers who avail of the twice-daily service to Dublin with Aer Lingus Regional, and up to five weekly flights to Glasgow with Loganair, multiple votes came in from across the globe.
“I am sure many of our own diaspora helped make the airport this year’s No 1. For returning emigrants the airport approach gives them a first sight of home and the best views in the world.
“A total of 112 different airports received nominations and for Donegal Airport to reach #1 is amazing news for us and proves what a unique and special location the airport enjoys.
“Donegal was already cited as the Coolest Place on the Planet (National Geographic) and now has been voted as the most scenic in the world.
“This incredible honour will generate a considerable amount of global Publicity for the airport and for Donegal located on the Wild Atlantic Way.”
Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly and an experienced pilot, said: “The top 10 is an annual bucket list for travel fans, a fascinating mix of global descents to fly in your lifetime. From tiny runways like last year’s winner Saba (the world’s shortest commercial runway) and Barra in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides; to the major cityscapes offered up by London City or Miami International.
“Donegal is extraordinarily beautiful and deservedly sits in the top spot this year. Its rugged coastal landscapes were a location for the recent Star Wars movies, and it’s not hard to see why. Whether you’re in the Millennium Falcon; on a commercial airliner; or on a private jet, coming into land here feels like an otherworldly experience.”
One voter commented in support of Donegal: “You fly in low...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.” Another praised the “spectacular views of the Atlantic coastline, the beautiful Mount Errigal and a beach which is the most stunning in the world.”
PrivateFly teamed up with a panel of travel experts to form the shortlist for the public vote, including aviation writers Rohit Jaggi and Miquel Ros; and travel influencers Henry Conway and Bonnie Rakhit.
The 2018 top ten is as follows:
1. Donegal (Ireland)
2. Barra (Scotland)
3. Nice (France)
4. Queenstown (New Zealand)
5. Saba (Dutch Caribbean)
6. Orlando Melbourne (USA)
7. Toronto Billy Bishop (Canada)
8. London City (England, UK)
9. St Maarten (French/Dutch Caribbean)
10. Miami (USA)