Euroceltic Airways

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Euroceltic Airways
Euroceltic Airways logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
5Q Wexford
Founded 1999
Commenced operations 14 February 2001
Ceased operations 21 January 2003
Operating bases Waterford Airport, Ireland
Fleet size See Fleet below
Destinations See Services below
Key people Diran Kazandjian (Founder)
Noel Hanley

Euroceltic Airways was a short haul airline, founded in 1999 by Diran Kazandjian and taken over by businessman Noel Hanley, the CEO of Global Ocean Technologies Ltd in 2002. It was given its Air Operator's Certificate on 12 February 2001.

Former code data[edit]

  • IATA Code: 5Q
  • Callsign: Wexford


During the period 2001 - 2002, the Euroceltic management team made many ambitious plans for expansion. These plans included either merging with or taking over Danish airline NewAir, creating new routes from Waterford Airport to other parts of Europe, and even a multi-million pound investment at Waterford Airport.

However, Euroceltic struggled to find a niche in the European airline market. The downturn in the airline market as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States only made things worse.


On 14 February 2001 Euroceltic began operating its first flights, from Waterford Airport in Ireland, to Liverpool Airport and London Luton in England. Euroceltic also added routes to Dublin, Sligo, and Donegal in Ireland. Soon after the inaugural flight, the head office was moved to Waterford Airport.

(The Euroceltic flight to London replaced the previous operators, Ryanair, who first operated a route from Waterford Airport to London Gatwick as their inaugural flight, in 1985. They dropped this route when their fleet was upgraded to jet aircraft, which were too big for the Waterford Airport runway. The Waterford - Luton route has since been taken over by Aer Arann.)


The Euroceltic fleet consisted of two Fokker F-27 aircraft (G-ECAT and G-ECAH), in an all-economy class configuration seating 48 passengers.


On the evening of 2 November 2002, one of Euroceltic's aircraft (Fokker F-27 registered G-ECAT) was involved in an accident at Sligo Airport. The aircraft was coming into land on Runway 11, after a routine flight from Dublin, when it overran the runway. After skidding about halfway down the runway, the aircraft eventually came to rest with the nose of the aircraft in the sea, and the main landing gear on an embankment. Passengers were evacuated and there were no reported casualties. However the plane was declared a write-off by the company two weeks later, due to the saltwater damage on the fuselage. The cause of the accident was later declared to be strong tailwinds and a wet runway.

The aircraft was carrying the Irish rock band Aslan.


The accident was the final nail in the coffin for Euroceltic Airways, and the airline eventually returned losses of €1.1 million. Euroceltic had its Air Operator's Certificate revoked by the Civil Aviation Authority and consequently ceased all operations on 21 January 2003, with the loss of 120 jobs. Many of its routes were subsequently taken over by Aer Arann, and its remaining aircraft (Fokker F-27 registered G-ECAH) was returned to its lessor in Scandinavia.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]