Only a couple of weeks ago Silverjet, the all business class airline based at Luton airport, was celebrating its 100,000th passenger and launching a summer sale with return flights to New York and Dubai from as little as £999. How quickly things can change in the airline industry!
This time last week Silverjet was still hoping to receive a £12.6 million investment, although they had requested that their shares be suspended on the Stock Market from Friday 30th May because of the delay in getting the cash. New equity was needed because of rising fuel amongst other things, with the cost of fuel for a round trip to New York having risen from £28,600 to over £44,000 in the last six months.
Just a few days later the airline was forced to ground its flights, joining the ranks of other business class carriers, Maxjet and Eos, who both went out of business earlier in the year.
The CAA estimated that 10,000 passengers would be affected, many stranded in New York and Dubai, the latest destination to be serviced by the airline. As a gesture of goodwill BA, Virgin and Emirates all stepped into the breach offering good deals to passengers affected by the crisis.
Hopes are still high that the airline may be bought by interested parties, including Viceroy Holdings who were behind the much hoped-for rescue package and also a group of former managers employed by the airline. This resulted in Silverjet shares reaching 21.75p, a two month high.