Silverjet, the British all-business-class startup, ceased operations today, a week after a mounting cash crisis led it to halt trading of its shares on a secondary exchange in London.
It was the third of the startup airlines offering discount-fare all-business-class service to fold in the current economic environment of $133 a barrel oil and tight credit.
Silverjet, which began operations early last year, flew between London Luton Airport and Newark, and between London and Dubai. It had a fleet of three Boeing 767s.
MaxJet, which flew all-business-class 767s between JFK and London Stansted Airport and Kennedy, and between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and Stansted, folded last Dec. 24 after two years in operation. Eos, which flew all-business-class 757s between JFK and London Stansted, ceased operations in late April.
Here is the announcement from Lawrence Hunt, the founder and CEO:
To our dear customers,
When our inaugural flight took off in January 2007, we pledged to change the face of air travel. Your appreciation of our unique values and your belief in our product has allowed us to achieve this.
Your belief in us was shared by our investors - but regrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, they were unable to unlock the finance that we needed. As a result, we are very sad to announce that from 30 May 2008, we will cease operations and we are no longer able to honour flight reservations.
We extend our sincerest apologies to those of you who have travel plans with Silverjet in the future and at present. You are advised to seek alternative travel arrangements with other carriers, and contact your credit card company or travel agent directly for information on obtaining refunds.
We are working actively with new investors who are prepared to inject new funds so we can recommence operations. If we are able to achieve this, we will make an announcement as soon as possible and we hope to be able to bring you our very 'sivilised' flying experience again.
Thank you for your support - it has meant everything.
Lawrence Hunt, CEO