News & Articles

The birth of Business Aviation

Ten days after Alcock and Brown’s pioneering transatlantic flight Ireland would, once again, be the focus of an aviation first.

In 1919 retailer Gordon Selfridge was interested in purchasing the Irish department store Brown Thomas on Dublin’s Graton Street. However to travel from London to Dublin required an 11 hour journey consisting of a two-part train journey separated by a voyage across the Irish Sea. For the frenetic Selfridge this was simply two long, particularly when train travel in Ireland would be subject to delays from the effects of the ongoing Civil War.

Therefore shortly after lunch on the 25th June Gordon hired a de Havilland DH9 from Aircraft Transport & Travel at London’s Hendon aerodrome. Three and a quarter hours later, including a brief stop at Chester for refueling and tea, he arrived at RAF Baldonnel (present day Casement Aerodrome) outside Dublin and was able to attend the meeting which subsequently led to him purchasing Brown Thomas.

Business aviation had been born.