Tag Archives: floatplane

Lagoon Flights

No, nothing (as far as I can see) to do with the Irish firm Harbour Flights, whose fleet’s mysterious non-appearance (and whose website’s mysterious disappearance) has been noted here. This time it’s Cardiff Business Council that wants to set up a seaplane service between Cardiff and Swansea.

A pan-Wales service would have a “massive” effect on inward investment and tourism, Mr Roberts said.


[h/t Antoin Daltún]

Spring is sprung …

… the grass is riz.
I wonder where the brand new fleet of aircraft is.

I would welcome news of sightings of the fleet of (presumably) floatplanes/seaplanes/amphibians that Harbour Flights is to have operating “early in the new year … from [sic] destinations nationwide”.

There is some discussion on Boards.ie here, by folk who appear to know one end of an aeroplane from the other; the later posts on the second page discuss suitable types of craft.


The amazing success of Harbour Flights

I have written before about Harbour Flights, which operated a seaplane (floatplane) at Mountshannon on Lough Derg and conducted trial flights hither and yon. I was a little confused about whether Harbour Flights was “fully operational” but its redesigned web page (there were once several pages) carries the impressive news that the company has been so successful that it has ceased operations, at least temporarily.

But it will be back, and instead of operating a single aircraft, which was actually owned by somebody else, it will have a veritable fleet “operating from [sic] destinations nationwide” and will be “fully operational again”, which suggests that it was fully operational before. I wonder how many of the “50 new Irish jobs” were created when it reached that point.


The Southern Star

The Southern Star is West Cork’s indispensable source of news and information. I don’t know whether its masthead still proclaims that it incorporates the Skibbereen Eagle, or whether, in the print edition, its news from Bandon is still headed “Bandon Brieflets”, but it is — as we would expect — keeping up with digital technology with a website, a FaceBook thingie and a napp.

It reports today on another “trial flight” by what it terms “A newly formed company, Harbour Flights”, which I wrote about here. The aircraft shown in the photo is EI-CFP [which is registered, incidentally, as a land aeroplane [.xls]], so Harbour Flights does not seem to have acquired a larger plane — or the use of one: the register shows that EI-CFP is owned by Kieran A O’Connor, not by Harbour Flights.

Being ignorant of aviation matters, I don’t know what constitutes a trial flight — or how it is to be distinguished from a promotional flight.

I note a slight contradiction in the Southern Star‘s report:

The company […] has taken five years to grow from its initial concept to become fully operational last July. […]

When it becomes fully operational, Mr Heaps estimated that the company could create up to 50 new Irish jobs […].

So is it, or is it not, “fully operational”? I am confused.






Mountshannon seaplane

News from the Clare Champion about the possible cessation of commercial seaplane activities at Mountshannon. The article reports comments by Mr Emelyn Heaps, chief executive officer of Harbour Flights Ireland Ltd.

Harbour Flights

The Companies Registration Office finds four occurrences of the term “Harbour Flights”, all giving their address as 13 Parnell Street, Ennis, Co Clare. One is a business name; the others are:

  • Harbour Flights (Ireland) Limited
  • Harbour Flights (Couriers) Limited
  • Harbour Flights (BES Nominees) Limited.

According to the B1 Annual Return for Harbour Flights (Ireland) Limited to 30 September 2012 [the most recent available], the directors of the company are:

  • Ronan Connolly of Ennis, Co Clare, who is the Secretary; he holds seven other directorships of companies, two of which are Harbour Flights (Couriers) Limited and Harbour Flights (BES Nominees) Limited
  • Emelyn Heaps of Tulla, Co Clare; he holds nine other directorships of companies, two of which are Harbour Flights (Couriers) Limited and Harbour Flights (BES Nominees) Limited.

In the Clare Champion article, Mr Heaps “said the four directors and five shareholders will meet this weekend”; it is to be presumed that the two extra directors have recently joined the Board. The B1 return does say that the company had five shareholders:

  • Mr Heaps with 300000 ordinary shares
  • Mr Connolly with 300000 ordinary shares
  • Mr Adam Cronin of Cobh, Co Cork with 300000 ordinary shares
  • Mr Stewart Curtis of Bodyke, Co Clare with 100000 ordinary shares
  • Harbour Flights (BES Nominees) Limited with 4152 “A” ordinary shares.

The company’s authorised share capital is €105000 made up of half a million “A” ordinary shares at 1c and ten million ordinary shares, also at 1c; the issued share capital is €10041.52, of which €41.52 is the “A” ordinary shares and the rest the one million ordinary shares at 1c.

The financial statement of Harbour Flights (Ireland) Limited

The company has lodged abridged financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2011 [they refer to the company as Harbour Flights Limited, omitting “(Ireland)”].

The independent auditor said:

There is an excess of liabilities over assets, as stated in the Balance Sheet, and, in our opinion, on that basis there did exist at 31 December 2011 a financial situation which under Section 40(1) of the Companies (Amendment) Act 1983 requires the convening of an extraordinary general meeting of the company.

The abridged balance sheet shows a loss of €103944 in 2010 and €295130 in 2011. The Capital and Reserves section showed

  • Called up share capital 10042
  • Share premium account 26946
  • Profit and loss account (295130)
  • Shareholders’ funds (258142).

The other two companies

The balance sheet of Harbour Flights (BES Nominees) Limited as at 31 December 2011 showed current assets of 100 financed by called up share capital of 100. The company had two directors, Mr Connolly and Mr Heaps, and two shareholders, Mr Connolly and Mr Heaps, each with 50 shares.

The balance sheet of Harbour Flights (Couriers) Limited as at 31 December 2011 showed current assets of 100 financed by called up share capital of 100. The company had four directors, Messrs Connolly, Cronin, Curtis and Heaps, and four shareholders, the same four people, each with 25 shares.

Almost 21 months have passed since then and it is possible that all three companies have prospered greatly since 31 December 2011, especially after flights began in July 2013.


In January 2013 the Irish Independent reported that the company hoped to acquire a seaplane and its own website suggests that it made its first flight in July 2013 and intended to carry 10000 passengers in its first year. However, it seems that the Air Operator Certificate is held by National Flight Centre, Dublin, which says it will be operating the floatplane (seaplane) “in conjunction with Harbour Flights“.

I know nothing of aeroplanes, but the plane seems to be EI-CFP, a Cessna 172, which is said to carry three passengers. Assuming a seven-month tourist season (April to October) and seven-day-a-week operation, there are 214 days available for carrying passengers. The target of 10000 passengers a year would mean carrying 47 passengers a day, which means 16 flights a day, every day.

However, the first year’s operations do not seem to have started until 10 July, leaving only 113 days to carry 10000 passengers. That would mean 89 passengers a day, which would require 30 flights. The shortest flight time is 20 minutes (at €85 a head; longer flights are available) but I imagine that at least ten minutes are required at start and finish for boarding, so the operation must have been working 20-hour days all summer. I haven’t been in Mountshannon for some time, so I was unaware of the frenetic level of activity, but it must have been exciting.


I see that RTÉ reported, on 3 September 2013, a “test flight” to Galway. Such “test flights” have taken place to other locations, eg Cork, although it is not clear what distinguishes a test flight from, say, a marketing opportunity. RTÉ said that the flight was by a Cessna 206, which takes five passengers, but the photo shows EI-CFP, which is not (as far as I can tell) a Cessna 206 but a smaller Cessna 172.

There have been earlier announcements of services, eg to Limerick, where services were to begin in summer 2011. This website mentions an earlier proposed start. Some folk don’t seem confident of the soundness of the original business model.

Lakeland Seaplane Tours, based on Lough Erne, seems to have ceased operations.



You can run …

… but you can’t hide. Harbour hoggers, and folk not meeting the new canals requirements, should watch out.

WI's eye in the sky

WI’s eye in the sky

[h/t & © JC]

[yes, I know]

Mountshannon seaplanes

Nice to see I’m not the only one who wonders how this proposed operation will succeed. I’d like to have a look at the business plan ….