The first Aer Lingus Boeing 747 arrived on 6 March 1971 and it was a big event. The new jumbo jet made news in every country it landed in, mainly due to its size. It was just so much larger than anything that had served airline passengers before.

While expensive, many of the flag carriers of the day bought the Boeing 747. Many subsequently found them too large, but the Irish airline managed to keep theirs in service for many years.

First Aer Lingus Boeing 747 Flight Video

There was once an Irish television programme called Newsbeat, which aired on RTÉ television each night Monday to Friday. This reported on current affairs issues around Ireland. A reporter, Cathal O’Shannon, took the first Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to New York, and this story was broadcast on 15 April 1971.

The Irish airline had just paid US$65 million for two Boeing 747-148s and wanted the people to see what they were all about. Running for just over six minutes, it’s an interesting look into the past. What immediately struck me was those meals in economy class. Now they wouldn’t look out of place in business class of today, would they?

The reporter is clearly trying to get the Cabin Manager, Patricia Joyce, to complain in some way about the size of the new plane. She’s not having it, right down to giving exact times of how long her service took to deliver.

The comments from Captain Pete little about how good the aircraft is to fly echoes a common sentiment among Boeing 747 drivers. They all love the handling of the plane, which is reassuring to know.

Overall Thoughts

From the first Aer Lingus Boeing 747 services in 1971 to the last on 2 October 1995, over eight million people travelled between Ireland and United States on board. Not a bad record at all for the Irish airline.

For those wanting more, there’s a colour video from 1975 reporting on another Aer Lingus Boeing 747 flight to New York here. Looks like the Irish fascination with the jumbo jet never really stopped.

Have you ever flown on board an Aer Lingus Boeing 747 and what do you remember about that? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via Captain Wahoo on