From the every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining department. This from the front page of today’s Irish Times.
In an unforgiving recession that has led to a collapse in demand for many trappings of the luxury lifestyle, Ireland’s best-known helicopter company has ceased its charter service.
Celtic Helicopters, controlled by businessman Ciarán Haughey, returned its air operations certificate to aviation regulators yesterday.
The firm now plans to focus on hangaring services for helicopter owners who are mothballing aircraft to curtail their day-to-day outgoings.
The firm offered business travel and aerial photography services, as well as pleasure trips, golf tours and transfers to race meetings.
Although helicopter trips became a symbol of spectacular wealth accumulation in the boom times, they are no longer in vogue. The chopper, for example, was a favoured mode of transportation among property developers. Now many members of that community are under considerable fiscal strain. Celtic is making five staff redundant as a result of the decision to halt charter services, but it will continue to employ another eight.
Knowledgeable readers will recall that Celtic’s owner is the son of Charlie Haughey, the disgraced gangster who was, for a time, Ireland’s Taoiseach (Prime Minister). Celtic Aviation prospered during his reign — and of course during the boom.