The Canadian parent of the company that provides Ireland's search and rescue helicopter service has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas, saying it has been a victim of the dramatic slump in oil prices.
CHC Group said that weakness in oil prices and uncertainty in the energy market has "led to decreased customer demand and an increase in idle aircraft."
CHC Ireland operates search and rescue services (SAR) for the Irish Coast Guard from four main bases here - Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford.
However, CHC Ireland Ltd is not included in the administration of its parent company and is not impacted by the drastic move.
CHC Ireland was awarded a 10-year, €500m contract by the Government in 2012 to operate the life-saving service. The Air Corps had traditionally provided Ireland's search and rescue capability.
CHC Group said reorganisation under bankruptcy protection is expected to help it strengthen its financial position by reducing long-term debt and allowing it to operate its fleet of aircraft.