On Nov. 14 Airship Ventures, operator of the world’s largest passenger airship, announced it was ceasing operations immediately.
Airship Ventures, founded in 2007, brought a Zeppelin NT (“New Technology”) airship to the USA for flight-seeing, science missions, media and advertising operations. Since 2008 the airship Eureka operated out of Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, Calif. The price per person for aerial tours ranged from $375 to $495. In addition to scenic flights, the airship was used for advertising and as a platform for scientific research.
In a statement published on the company’s website, CEO Brian Hall remarked “Operating this unique aircraft has been an inspiring experience and it is with a very heavy heart that we’ve come to this point requiring us to cease operations and ground Eureka. Our team is the best at what they do and their dedication to Eureka, our passengers and our dream of flying a Zeppelin in the USA has been remarkable. I’m beyond sad to disband their talents and leave Moffett Field, our friends and fans without an active airship.”
“Our goal is to find a title sponsor for a year, which is $5 million to $6 million,” Hall continued, noting that, “For less than the cost of a 1 minute Superbowl ad, you can sponsor Eureka for a full year, garnering press, TV coverage, and eyeballs all year long.”
If the money cannot be obtained, the company will fold for good and some 35 people will lose their jobs, he noted.
Since its founding, the company had faced challenges, including the economic recession that reduced passenger numbers. Passengers who have made reservations are due a refund.
There is a drive to save Airship Ventures.
For more information: Facebook.com/AirshipVentures