I don't think airship maintenance would be higher than a heavier than air aircraft with the same engine technology, as far as i can figure from experience. Not that i've worked on airships, sadly.
I can think of two applications where airships could win. Firstly: as a mobile hospital (or, i suppose, clinic) in places like africa or for emergency response. Relatively quick travel times to where they're needed, but unlike the RFDS they can hang around for extended periods of time. Much like a smaller version of those charity hospital ships that move from habour to habour in africa now, only for landlocked areas haha.
The second is as a flying caravan, ala James May's thermal airship. This is mostly for me, though i'm sure that if you could build one build one with a capacity similar to a decent sized caravan (that could actually fly upwind >.<) you could probably sell it as a kit! Maybe. I'm sure i'm not the only one who would think a flying caravan (RV?) would be neato.
These two models would need to be able to operate pretty much autonomously, though, which could make it tricky sometimes. Though i guess the clinic airship could lower a few crewmates down on a transporter, like the Flying Cloud has, to direct the locals to help the ship down if that was needed. (awesome idea that, by the way)
Honestly, i would rather spend a few days (even a week) flying from Australia to Canada to see my inlaws where i can walk around, sit in a decent chair with actual legroom (have you seen the new stand-up 'chairs' they're trying to put in airliners nowdays?) and above all sleep in an actual bed. Even if it's a navy-style cramped bunk stacked three high in my cabin, as long as it's longer than i am! I'd arrive reasonably well rested, and without much in the way of jet lag. Instead of 36 hours alternating between cramped, spine-bending tedium and frantic airport dashing. Even if it cost more.
(I just realised i may have said that last paragraph before, but i'm not sure. This subject comes up sometimes and i tend to repeat myself) haha.
Unfortunately we may be in the minority, i suppose. Most people want to get there as quick and as cheap as possible. Though i'm sure this trend won't end well - maintenance is one of the first areas where beancounters try and 'trim the fat' (speaking from experience), which is fine while the aircraft are shiny new but what about ten or twenty years down the road?
Also: I saw what i thought to be the Eureka when i was at LAX earlier this year. It brightened my sleep deprived day!